Lebanon begins anti-IS offensive

21 August, 2017, 01:39 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Hezbollah using weaponised drones against IS in Syria

The soldiers were en route to participate in an operation that began Saturday to oust Islamic State group militants from an area further north on the border, an army source told AFP.

The Lebanese Army stressed on Saturday that there has been "no coordination with Hizbullah or the Syrian military" in its offensive against the Islamic State group, as it assured that the troops are confident that they "will win the battle".

Qanso insisted the Lebanese army was not coordinating its moves with Assad's forces or the Hezbollah fighters - a potential embarrassment for Washington, should its ally the Lebanese military be working closely with a group that the United States has classifies as a terror organization.

Lebanese army troops have been attacking positions held Daesh terrorists near the Syrian border for a second day after liberating a third of the militant-held territory.

It said 10 Lebanese soldiers were wounded.

The operations come as IS claimed responsibility for the Spanish terror attacks and a stabbing of pedestrians in Russian Federation.

A key political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused the US-led coalition of seeking to fragment Syria, saying the plan will fail.

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A photo of Lebanese army soldiers waving the red and yellow flag near the border with Syria was posted to their website on Saturday.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun (no relation to the Lebanese commander) arrived at the defence ministry early on Saturday to monitor the operation.

Militants have always been active in mountainous eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria, where a bloody civil war has raged since 2011.

The army says around 600 IS fighters were deployed in the Jurud Ras Baalbek and Jurud al-Qaa areas and controlled around 120 square kilometres of territory before the latest advances. -Gen. Ali Kanso made to the press.

The cross-border battle was anticipated after the defeat of Nusra in the border areas in both Syria and Lebanon.

"The historic Syrian-Lebanese ties. will continue and we as Lebanese have every interest in them continuing", he said.

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