homecoming in Lebanon for five Hezbollah fighters. They'd been held by the Islamist Nusra Front in a Syrian militant foothold just inside the Lebanese border in Arsal. Their release part of a ceasefire deal under which 7,000 Syrian fighters and refugees in Lebanon were bussed to Idlib in Syria's north this week.
Nusra Front and Islamic State militants seized footholds in the area three years ago. Arsal has shown more than anywhere how vulnerable Lebanon is to spillover from Syria's civil war. Although in Lebanon, it's a remote Sunni border town when many inhabitants have been sympathetic to Islamist Syrian rebel groups.
Hezbollah flags and fighters now guard hilltops that were once clandestine routes for fighters and weapons into Syria. Last week, Shiite Lebanese Hezbollah launched an offensive to drive the Nusra militants out. It was backed by its ally, the Syrian army, which wanted to secure the border area. They fight together inside Syria too.
Next stop a nearby Islamic State enclave which Lebanon's own, much less powerful army began to shell on Thursday.