Lebanese soldier deserts and joins jihadists

Members of the jihadist group Al-Nusra Front fire homemade mortar rounds during fighting with goverment forces on February 8, 2014 in the Syrian village of AzizaA Lebanese soldier who deserted was shown in a video distributed online on Wednesday seated beneath a flag of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front and announcing he has defected. A military official told AFP that a military conscript he named as Atef Saadeddine had deserted. In the video, Saadeddine said he was deserting because of army “bias” towards Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah organisation, which has sent thousands of fighters into Syria to support Assad’s troops. The video shows Saadeddine in military gear.

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