There is an ongoing military presence around Arsal. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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The narrow streets of the northeastern town of Arsal bustled with traffic as residents went about their daily lives just weeks after heavy fighting routed militants hiding out in the town's outskirts.Although offensives carried out separately by the Lebanese Army and Hezbollah ousted militants entrenched in the outskirts, Arsal remains under security that has been in place since the town was overrun briefly by militants in 2014 .Shaza said that people outside the town often forget that residents of Arsal have suffered a lot over the past years.Militants belonging to Daesh (ISIS) and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham – formerly known as the Nusra Front – overran Arsal in August 2014, engaging in clashes with the Army. As the militants withdrew they took with them over 30 Army soldiers and police officers.The fate of 10 soldiers remained unknown until the Army launched its "Fajr al-Joroud" offensive against Daesh in the outskirts of Ras Baalbeck and Al-Qaa in August, leading to a cease-fire that included information on the servicemen's fates.The Army's offensive was preceded by another launched by Hezbollah in July to rid Arsal's outskirts of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham militants.With everything that the border town and its residents have been through, some feel the hardship could have been avoided had the Army pressed on against the militants back in 2014 .
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