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Lebanese army destroys 11 ISIL positions on Syrian border

21 August 2017

The long-awaited military campaign aims to defeat IS in the group's border enclave and put an end to a terror threat that has loomed over Lebanon.

Brigadier General Qansowa, spokesman of the Lebanese army, while addressing a press conference on Saturday said that military operations would continue until Daesh terrorists were expelled from his country. The Lebanese army said it was not coordinating the assault with Hezbollah or the Syrian army.

The militant group is now falling back deeper into the Euphrates valley region of eastern Syria.

The Lebanese military said that 20 ISIS militants were killed in the military operation, and 10 of their own soldiers were wounded.

The two forces cleared 87 square kilometers that had been in the hands of the terrorist group, the report added.

"The Lebanese Army remains one of our most capable and efficient partners", he said, according to comments quoted by a Lebanese army statement.

"The terrorists are now being humiliated", he said, adding, "The military operation will continue until the targets are met, the terrorists are expelled and soldiers are deployed along the borders". Last month, Hezbollah forced Nusra Front militants and Syrian rebels to leave nearby border strongholds in a joint operation with the Syrian army.

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The Lebanese army did not take part in the July operation, but it has been gearing up to assault Daesh in the same mountainous region.

The proximity alone underlines Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's increasingly confident position following significant military gains on the ground in the past year.

The operation ended with a ceasefire that saw around 8,000 refugees and jihadists transported to a jihadist-held area of northwestern Syria in return for the release of five captured Hezbollah fighters.

The area was overrun by militants linked to al-Qaeda and IS in 2014, which led to the kidnapping of Lebanese soldiers.

Critics oppose Hezbollah's role in the war.

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

Lebanese army destroys 11 ISIL positions on Syrian border