If the South is Hizballah's battlefront then the Bekaa is the rear operational center from which the group draws is reserves, whether they be men, missiles, or money. It is through the Bekaa that the group recieves a majority of its weapons, as it crosses the border from Syria. It is where Syrian intelligence set up its headquarters and where the Iranian Pasdaran set up their training/operational centers. And it is in the Bekaa where Hizballah and its patrons have fought off any and all attempts by the state to impose any law and order (even though those attempts have been, admittedly, sparse).
It is under this cover of disregard and disdain for the state that lawlessness has thrived. Gangs operating the region use their connections to Hizballah (and AMAl), on the Lebanese side, and regional Syrian officers, on the Syrian side, to engage in activities from drug growing/smuggling/distributing, to the theft and smuggling of cars (stolen from Lebanon, smuggled to Syria), as well as other criminal activities.
For all these reasons, any confrontation between the country's security forces and those criminal gangs is to be encouraged, and any victory (of the real kind, not the divine) for the security services and the state should be celebrated. The DailyStar reports [on the incidents reported on in the above LBCI video]:
Lebanese soldiers killed a drugs baron traveling in a stolen car after he refused to stop at an army checkpoint in the eastern Bekaa Valley on Friday, the military said. Ali Abbas Jaafar, who had 172 outstanding arrest warrants against him, was killed along with an aide outside the Bekaa city of Baalbek after they refused to stop, the army said, though witnesses told AFP the army ambushed him.Also see this AFP interview with "Noah" Zeaiter (much relation to Ali Zeaiter!) on his "drug baron" status and activities - his final sentence denouncing the state is hilarious:
Relatives of the two men shot at an army vehicle later in the day when the bodies were brought to Baalbek, witnesses said. Three soldiers were lightly wounded when a rocket exploded near the vehicle.
Senior security source revealed on Friday that a rocket-propelled grenade targeted a Lebanese Armed Forces tank in Baalbek, ANB television reported. The Voice of Lebanon radio station added that an armed "gang" launched the RPG, injuring three soldiers, who were transported to nearby hospitals.
The state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported on Friday that the fighting occurred at dawn between a group of criminals wanted for various offenses and security forces in the Baakbek area of Dar al-Wasea.
The report said the clashes erupted when a Green range Range Rover carrying four gunmen refused to stop at an army checkpoint and the car's occupants opened fire at soldiers who returned fire and killed the two men.
The army later chased the vehicle's two other occupants and arrested them, according to the NNA. The military also seized an M16 rifle, a Rocket Propelled Grenade launcher, other ammunition and cannabis on board of the Range Rover.
LBCI television station reported that army was conducting extensive patrols in the Dar al-Wasea region Friday evening.
Jaafar was wanted on a variety of charges, including drug trafficking, opening fire on military positions, attempted murder of soldiers and civilians and carrying false documents.
On Thursday, another drug dealer, Ali Zeaiter, was killed after he opened fire at an army unit during a military raid in the Beirut suburb of Dekwaneh.
Three other members of Zeaiter's gang were also arrested.
Zeaiter's rap sheet reads pages long. He is wanted on 487 criminal charges ranging from drug trafficking, car theft and terrorism to weapons dealing, fraud, kidnapping and extortion. He is also wanted by Interpol.