File - A general view of the northeastern border town of Arsal, Thursday, March 20, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Lebanese officials and security sources are deeply concerned for the fate of the captive soldiers as winter approaches and the battles between Hezbollah and the Nusra Front continue to rage into the border region where the hostages are thought to be held. Moreover, the sources told The Daily Star that ISIS and the Nusra Front are not taking the negotiations seriously, as their one true goal is to be given a free hand to use Arsal as a base and supply route.Meanwhile, developments on the ground in Syria, including the international campaign against ISIS, as well as Hezbollah's explosive surprise earlier this week, which wounded two Israeli soldiers, are factors that could alter the security situation and so need to be taken into account. The government is unsure how to proceed, given the sensitivity of the captives issue, especially as ISIS and the Nusra Front have succeeded in inciting division among the Lebanese public, which affects the negotiations. Security sources have expressed real fear for the lives of the captive soldiers.
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