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Lebanese Army, Hezbollah Target IS at Syria Border
Lebanese Army, Hezbollah Target IS at Syria Border

Lebanese Army, Hezbollah Target IS at Syria Border

Lebanese Army, Hezbollah Target IS at Syria Border

The Lebanese army launched an offensive on Saturday against the self-styled Islamic State terror group enclave on the northeast border with Syria as Hezbollah simultaneously announced an assault on the militants from the Syrian side of the frontier.
The Lebanese army was targeting IS positions near the town of Ras Baalbek with rockets, artillery and helicopters, a Lebanese security source said. The area is the last part of the Lebanese-Syrian frontier under insurgent control, Reuters reported.
The operation by Hezbollah and the Syrian army was aimed at IS militants in the western Qalamoun region of Syria, Hezbollah said, an area across the frontier from Ras Baalbek.
A Hezbollah statement said the group was meeting its pledge to “remove the terrorist threat at the borders of the nation” and was fighting “side by side” with the Syrian army. It made no mention of the Lebanese army operation.
Any joint operation between the Lebanese army on the one hand, and Hezbollah and the Syrian army on the other would be politically sensitive in Lebanon.
In a recent speech, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the Lebanese army would attack IS from its side of the border, while Hezbollah and the Syrian army would simultaneously assault from the other side.
The Lebanese security source said the two offensives were not coordinated. “Each side is working alone,” the source said. But a commander in the military alliance fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad said that “naturally” there was coordination.
Last month, Hezbollah forced Nusra Front militants and Syrian rebels to leave nearby border strongholds in a joint operation with the Syrian army.

 

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