Islamic State militants holed up in the Qalamoun mountains on the Syrian-Lebanese border are seeking to gain control of nearby Lebanese villages to support their fighting positions, the head of Lebanon’s main security apparatus told Reuters.

Major General Abbas Ibrahim said Lebanese forces were on high alert to prevent the hardline militants from seizing any Lebanese territory near the Qalamoun mountains, which demarcate Lebanon’s eastern border with Syria.

Such crossborder incursions would add to concern that Lebanon, which suffered its own civil war in 1975-90, could be drawn further into the conflict in neighbouring Syria. […]