Prominent Palestinian Militant Says He's Left Lebanon for Syria

Bilal Badr, who led a hardline Sunni Islamist faction against mainstream Palestinian groups in Lebanon, did not share details on how he had traveled to Syria

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
File photo: A Palestinian holding a gun inside the Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon, 2017.
File photo: A Palestinian holding a gun inside the Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon, 2017.Credit: ALI HASHISHO/REUTERS
Reuters
Reuters

A prominent Palestinian militant whose followers have fought other factions in a refugee camp in Lebanon has traveled to Syria, he said, removing one of the main combatants in one of Lebanon’s most volatile settlements.

A statement by Bilal Badr, who led a hardline Sunni Islamist faction against mainstream Palestinian groups in the Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp at Sidon, did not say when or how he had traveled to Syria.

The rebellion against President Bashar Assad has drawn militant Sunnis from across the region. After fighting in Ain el-Hilweh in August, Palestinian groups urged wanted security suspects to leave the camp.

Badr’s statement addressed his supporters “from the land of jihad and glory, from Assad’s lair in Syria, to which we migrated to support the religion of God.”

The statement was circulated on social media inside the camp and its authenticity was confirmed by a source close to Badr.

Although his statement revealed his presence in Syria, it was issued to thank followers for helping his wife, who had been briefly detained, rather than to describe his whereabouts.

Islamist sources in Ain el-Hilweh said Badr had gone to Idlib province which borders Turkey in northwest Syria and is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist alliance spearheaded by the former al Qaeda affiliate in the country.

Badr fighters have repeatedly battled the mainstream Fatah and other factions in Ain el-Hilweh, leading to more than a dozen deaths in 2017.

Lebanon’s Palestinian camps mainly fall outside the jurisdiction of the Lebanese security forces. There are 170,000 Palestinian refugees living in 12 camps in Lebanon, according to a recent census announced by Lebanese authorities.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op