Hezbollah says begun assault on IS Lebanon border pocket from Syria

Casey Dawson
August 20, 2017

"This is perhaps the most tentative area along the border with Lebanon and Syria", Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab said.

"Due to the successful operation of the Syrian military, the last route the militants used for supplies of weapons, ammunition and other assets near Akerbat is under the fire control of the Syrian military", the Russian military said.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun who arrived at the Army Operations Center at Yarze contacted the commander of the front in the outskirts of al-Qaa and Ras Baalbek and said: "we are looking forward to victory".

"It's the most hard battle so far waged by the Lebanese army against terrorist groups", he said, citing the nature of the terrain and enemy tactics.

The US - which classifies Hezbollah as a terrorist group - helps arm the Lebanese armyand delivered eight new armoured vehicles on Monday, its embassy said.

Lebanon denies it is coordinating its offensive with the Syrian government. A ceasefire was announced after six days of severe fighting which led to evacuation of 8000 refugees and jihadists.

The evacuations were completed on Monday.

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An army spokesman said a third of the area in the hands of the militants was so far now recaptured since the offensive began with twenty militants killed in either direct combat, shelling or aerial strikes.

The long-awaited campaign aims to defeat the group in its border enclave and put an end to a terror threat that has loomed over Lebanon.

Beirut based Al-Manar TV quoted statement issued by Hezbollah's military media center saying that the operation was undergoing in Western Qalamoun area in Syria.

The source said the Syrian army and Hezbollah were advancing in the badlands of Qalamoun against the IS, mainly in the barrens of Jarajir and Qara. This was made possible with the cooperation of Hezbollah.

An advisor to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said the six-year war in her country is almost over as foreign states cut backing for the rebels who are against the government.

Lebanese troops also attacked ISIS positions on the Lebanese side of the border on Wednesday and tightened the siege on them, an anonymous Lebanese official told the AP.

Lebanon's industry and agriculture ministers arrived in Damascus for an worldwide trade fair on Wednesday, alongside a delegation of Lebanese businessmen.

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