Syrian rebel groups on Thursday announced that they had started shelling Hezbollah positions in Lebanon and Syria, while security sources in Lebanon denied the claims.
Free Syrian Army spokesperson Louay Almokdad said in a statement that the rebel army launched two separate attacks against the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
“An FSA brigade launched two consecutive attacks at 12:30 pm on Thursday, the first of which targeted a group of Hezbollah fighters in the Syrian southern Qusayr district, killing and wounding all of its members,” Almokdad said in his statement.
“In the second attack, a group of FSA brigades targeted a Hezbollah arsenal outpost inside Lebanese territory in Hosh al-Sayyed Ali with rockets and achieved direct hits.”
The statement also reiterated the call for the residents of the northern Lebanese border town of Hermel to “stay away from the military and security outposts manned by Hezbollah.”
It warned that their attacks will escalate in the coming hours.
However, Voice of Lebanon (100.5) radio cited Lebanese security sources as saying that no rebel projectiles from Syria had landed on Lebanese territory.
Also, Sky News Arabia cited FSA sources as saying that rebels had not shelled any position in Lebanon or Syria.
FSA chief of staff General Salim Idriss told AFP on Wednesday that his forces would begin firing on Hezbollah "sources of fire" against rebel positions in the Homs area of Syria if the Shiite group did not stop its alleged attacks against FSA troops in the Homs province.
The FSA statement originally issued Tuesday warned Lebanese in the northern Beqaa town of Hermel to avoid Hezbollah military sites and rocket launching positions.
Also on Wednesday, an official in Homs called on Lebanese in the country’s predominantly Sunni city of Tripoli and the Beqaa town of Arsal to target Hezbollah.
“We hope that [Tripoli and Arsal residents] will… cut [Hezbollah’s] supply lines to Syria, and that they will [seek to prevent] Hezbollah from shelling their positions,” Hadi al-Abdallah said in a video posted on YouTube.
On Sunday, three Lebanese Shiites were killed in clashes in Syria, a source close to Hezbollah said, as the opposition accused the militant group of fighting alongside its regime allies.
Just hours earlier, the main bloc of the Syrian opposition accused the Damascus ally of having intervened "militarily" on the side of the regime, and warned this posed a threat to ties between neighbors Syria and Lebanon.
Hezbollah has systematically denied sending fighters into Syria, though its leader Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged in October 2012 that party members had fought Syrian rebels but said they were acting as individuals and not under the group's direction.
Lebanon is sharply divided over the Syrian conflict, with the Sunni-led March 14 movement supporting the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad and the Shiite Hezbollah and its allies backing the regime.