Lebanese army announces cease-fire with Daesh on border

Lebanese army announces cease-fire with Daesh on border

The head of Lebanon's General Security body, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, oversaw the release efforts in 2015. Ibrahim said the search for a ninth soldier continues.

In a short military statement, the army said the approval comes after the defeat of IS in Qalamoun, where the terror-designated group was besieged by the army and Hezbollah fighters. Others hailed the deal and evacuation of the militants as a victory.

"Islamic State [Daesh] asked for negotiations and a withdrawal, and the Syrian side and Hizbollah agreed", the official said. The sit-ins have been held since the soldiers were captured by ISIS in 2014.

"Some ISIL fighters appear to be shaving their beards and trying to melt away, either by trying to make it to Arsal (where there is a refugee population they could hide among) on foot or in a bid to make it to Syria via dozens of unmarked pathways", he said.

"When this happens, Daesh's military presence in Lebanon - its control of geographic territory - will be finished", the source said. "This case. has regrettably been closed on a dark note".

North-east Lebanon saw one of the worst spillovers of Syria's war into Lebanon in 2014, when IS and other militants briefly overran the border town of Arsal, capturing the Lebanese servicemen.

Al-Ikhbariya quoted an unnamed Syrian field commander as saying the militants have been driven out of some 200 square kilometres in Syria.

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U.S-backed forces, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), are also making a bid for Deir el-Zour province, raising concerns of potential friction with the Syrian troops.

The group's War Media channel said the unilateral pause was "in the framework of a comprehensive agreement to end the battle in west Qalamun against Daesh (IS)".

The government troops and its allied militias have been moving toward Deir el-Zour from three different angles: in central, northern and southern Syria.

In a coordinated move, both Hezbollah and the Lebanese army have declared a cease-fire in their fight against ISIS in western Syria on the Lebanese border.

Lebanon would not want to appear to be operating alongside the Syrian government, and the presence of Hezbollah militias from Lebanon fighting in Syria is also politically sensitive.

Late on Saturday, Islamic State militants attacked a base of the SDF forces in Shaddadi town, about 120 km north of Deir el-Zour.

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