Ceasefire follows military offensive on Lebanese-Syria border

Ceasefire follows military offensive on Lebanese-Syria border

A #Hezbollah controlled state television channel, Al-Mannar, has claimed that the Lebanese army, along with its Syrian and Hezbollah allies have declared a ceasefire with the so called Islamic State after a week-long joint campaign.

The fighting began a week ago when the Lebanese army, and "Hezbollah" and Syrian forces, launched separate but simultaneous offensives against an ISIS enclave straddling the border.

The Lebanese army offensive against ISIL has been working to drive the group out of its last border footholds in the areas of Jurud Ras Baalbek and Jurud Al Qaa.

At the time of writing, there were no reports of ISIL fighters failing to respect submit to both ceasefires.

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Lebanon's defence minister said in comments to reporters that Hezbollah was carrying out the negotiations over the soldiers, who were captured in 2014 when al-Qaeda and ISIS militants briefly overran a Lebanese town near the border.

Under the first stage of the ceasefire deal, Hizballah forces were excavating the area to look for remains thought to belong to some of the soldiers, said an official in the military alliance fighting in support of the Damascus regime.

U.S-backed forces, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, are also making a bid for Deir el-Zour province, raising concerns of a potential friction with the Syrian troops. The Lebanese army has said it is not coordinating the assault with Hizbullah or the Syrian army. Daesh controls most of the oil-rich province.

Aram Nerguizian, an expert on the Middle East at the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said the extremists appeared to be trying to escape by pretending to be civilians.

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Civil sources said that new ISIL-affiliated terrorist groups fled away from al-Bu Omar village, among them two of their leaders, terrorists Samir Dahham and Abdel Hamid al-Dairi.

IS has claimed several attacks in Lebanon in recent years, including twin bombings in a densely populated Beirut suburb that killed 44 people.

Hezbollah fighters are seen in a truck in Jroud Arsal, near Syria-Lebanon border, August 13, 2017. That deal required the Lebanese government to work with the Syrian government, with Mr Ibrahim, the head of Lebanese general security, helping to oversee it. "We hope they all return to Syria".

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