The Al-Qaeda linked militant group, Al-Nusra Front, has issued a warning to the Lebanese Government to either comply with the terms set forth by the organization or another Lebanese Army soldier will be beheaded. The soldier that the Al-Nusra Front is threatening to behead is Lebanese Army Corporal, Mohammad Ma’arouf Hamiyeh. Hamiyeh and his comrades were captured during the Lebanese Army offensive in the ‘Arsal District of the Ba’albak Governate.
The Al-Nusra Front has already beheaded two Lebanese Army officers in the last two months, sparking outrage amongst the already agitated civilian population. As a result of the beheading videos posted by the Al-Nusra Front, Syrian refugees in Lebanon have experienced an increased amount of discrimination and violence from their Lebanese hosts.
Due to the upheaval in Lebanon, many Syrian nationals have flooded the Beirut-Damascus Highway to return to Syria. The Syrian Government reports that over 2,000 Syrians in Lebanon have returned to the country over the last two weeks. Many of the Syrians in Lebanon have faced hardships – such as, unemployment, poverty, and homelessness.