Lebanese army announces cease-fire with Daesh on border

A Deal with The Devil? Hezbollah Now in Talks with ISIS

Secretary-General of the Lebanese Hezbollah group Hassan Nasrallah pinpointed "a channel of negotiation" between his party and the so-called Islamic State (IS) on the latter pulling out from the eastern border areas.

Under the ceasefire, Hezbollah members have entered an area of west Qalamoun to confirm that Lebanese soldiers held by Daesh are buried there, the source said.

Red Cross workers and government forces receive buses carrying Syrian rebel fighters and their families following their arrival in Flita on August 14, 2017.

The Syrian army and its ally, the Lebanese Hezbollah group, launched an operation simultaneously with the Lebanese to clear IS from the Syrian side of the border in the western Qalamoun mountain range.

The two sides say they have driven the militants from most of the border region.

The head of Lebanon's General Security body, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, oversaw the release efforts in 2015.

The army is now pushing in the direction of the eastern city of Deir el-Zour where a Syrian force and tens of thousands of civilians have been under siege by IS for almost three years.

ISIS had kidnapped a group of Lebanese soldiers and police in 2014 after it briefly held the Lebanese town of Arsal - along with other armed groups - near the country's northeastern border.


Some reports suggested that the IS militants had already killed the Lebanese soldiers, as reports said Hezbollah was told by IS about their destiny, but the Shiite group will leave the declaration about the fate of the soldiers to the Lebanese army.

Hezbollah has provided critical military support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during Syria's six-year-long war.

"When this happens, Daesh's military presence in Lebanon - its control of geographic territory - will be finished", the source said.

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

Last month, a Hizbollah offensive inside Lebanon against former Al Qaeda-affiliated militants resulted in negotiations that saw around 10,000 fighters and refugees return to Syria from the Arsal area.

Both the pro-Assad military alliance and the Lebanese army have advanced towards the Syrian-Lebanese border from their respective sides.

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

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