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Lebanon, Hezbollah suspend ISIS fight for soldiers' release

28 August 2017

Both offensives have advanced towards the border from opposite sides. Lebanon and Shi'ite Hezbollah each said they have made gains against the militants, driving them back into a smaller zone in the arid hills on the border.

Syrian media say around 400 militants and their families are expected to be moved toward Deir el-Zour, a city in eastern Syria that is mostly controlled by ISIS.

Al-Ikhbariya, a Syrian TV station, said a Hezbollah delegation arrived in Syria to evacuate the bodies of Lebanese soldiers, but there was no official statement on the matter.

Under the first stage of the ceasefire deal, Hizballah forces were excavating the area to look for remains thought to belong to some of the soldiers, said an official in the military alliance fighting in support of the Damascus regime.

Lebanese army declares ceasefire that comes into affect in a Daesh pocket straddling the Syria-Lebanon border, to decide the fate of nine of its soldiers who were abducted by Daesh in August 2014.

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Hezbollah managed to inflict huge losses on terrorists linked to al-Nusra Front. They departed for insurgent territory in Syria after offensives by Hezbollah and the Syrian army.

As for Nasrallah's addition of the Syrian army into the so-called "army-people-resistance equation", Geagea noted that Nasrallah's "real equation" also involves Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces and Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

Hezbollah has been fighting alongside troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011.

Ibrahim also added that locating the bodies was part of a deal reached with the Islamic State group during a military offensive in the area that began last week. It did not claim to have defeated the Islamic State. The Lebanese army has said it is not coordinating the assault with Hezbollah or the Syrian army. 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.

The Lebanese army has been battling ISIL fighters in their last border foothold, near the town of Ras Baalbek. However, reports from the field indicate that Hezbollah has been directing the operation from the Lebanese side and has not been acting under the direction of the Lebanese army.

Lebanon, Hezbollah suspend ISIS fight for soldiers' release