Islamic State asks Hezbollah, Syrian Army for withdrawal from Syria-Lebanon border

Geneva Matthews
August 28, 2017

He said the remains would be subject to DNA testing to ensure their identities but that he was "almost certain that the case is closed".

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. Hezbollah has been fighting alongside the Syrian forces since 2013.

Elsewhere in the fight against IS, Syrian troops and their allies besieged a large area controlled by IS in central Syria on Thursday.

The two sides say they have driven the militants from most of the border region. Hezbollah's TV said the group is also expected to remove bodies of five of its own fighters killed in the area.

The head of Lebanon's internal security agency says eight Lebanese soldiers who had been in captivity of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group since 2014 are nearly certainly dead.

The battle began a week ago when the Lebanese army, and Hezbollah together with Syrian government forces, launched separate but simultaneous assaults. Along with elements of the Syrian army and Hezbollah, the Lebanese are trying to evict ISIL from positions within Lebanon, and have been gaining ground, but the pause has been called to allow for a period of negotiations.

Hizbollah, which has been fighting in Syria's civil war on behalf of president Bashar Al Assad's government since 2012, has used its offensive against ISIL as a tool to pressure Lebanese leaders to recognise the legitimacy of the Syrian government.

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.

Coordinating with Hezbollah would be politically sensitive as Lebanon is a United States ally, and the USA has designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

A Western diplomat praised the Lebanese army's performance in the border battle in "a risky and complex operation" that the diplomat said would have been "simply unimaginable" a decade ago, reported Reuters on Sunday.

Lebanese soldiers return from an offensive against the ISIS on the border with Syria, August 21, 2017.

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

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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