Published: Mon, August 28, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Syrian officer: Anti-IS fight near Lebanon border soon over

Syrian officer: Anti-IS fight near Lebanon border soon over

Lebanon's army has announced a ceasefire in its offensive against ISIL fighters at the country's northeast border with Syria.

According to military bodies, the military previously rejected a proposal by the Daesh extremists to leave for the northern province of Raqqa and told them to immediately surrender.

As for Nasrallah's addition of the Syrian army into the so-called "army-people-resistance equation", Geagea noted that Nasrallah's "real equation" also involves Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces and Iran's Revolutionary Guard. The Syrian government has held on to a pocket of territory in the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor city, and at a nearby airbase.

Both offensives have advanced towards the border from opposite sides.

The battle began a week ago when the Lebanese army, and Hizballah together with Syrian regime forces, launched separate but simultaneous assaults.

"It has not been confirmed yet that these remains belong to the military soldiers, although we are nearly certain they are", Ibrahim said, according to the official National News Agency.

Under the first stage of the ceasefire deal, Hezbollah forces were digging there for remains thought to belong to some of the soldiers, said an official in the military alliance fighting in support of the Damascus government.

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The operation came just a couple of weeks after Hezbollah and the Syrian army dislodged the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front from areas in western Qalamoun and the adjacent Juroud Arsal barrens on the Lebanese side of the border.

Nine soldiers were taken hostage when jihadists overran the border town of Arsal in 2014, Lebanon's army said. Nine soldiers are believed to be still held by ISIS.

SANA's reporter in Deir Ezzor said that the army land units engaged in clashes with different types of heavy and light weapons with ISIL-affiliated terrorist groups in the neighborhoods of al-Howeiqa and al-Rashdiyeh and in the surroundings of the Airport.

Last week, Lebanon and Hezbollah each announced they had made significant gains against ISIL fighters, driving them back into a smaller part of the arid hills on the border.

The Lebanese army has been battling ISIL fighters in their last border foothold, near the town of Ras Baalbek.

"We see no evidence of substantive cooperation (between the army and Hizballah)", the diplomat added.

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