Cease-fire declared along Syrian-Lebanese border

A cease-fire was declared on two fronts along along the Lebanese-Syrian border — the Islamic State against the Lebanese Army and the joint Syrian Army and Hezbollah forces, the Hezbollah-controlled TV channel Al Manar said Sunday.


The Lebanese Army, which announced the cease-fire in a statement, said the truce allowed negotiations to proceed in efforts recover its missing soldiers from 2014.
Syrian state media, citing a military source, said a deal had been reached to move Islamic State militants to eastern Syria.

“We agreed to a deal between Hezbollah and [IS] which will see the rest of its militants evacuated to the eastern region of the Syrian Arab Republic,” Syrian state news agency Sana said.

Hezbollah sources in Lebanon said the Islamic State had “succumbed under fire and asked for negotiations.”

In a speech Thursday, the Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that Islamic State had been defeated.

“The remaining ISIS terrorists are completely confused and seek an escape or any settlement to exit the area which they have occupied after being besieged,” he said in a statement reported by the Syrian Arab News Agency.

Nine soldiers were taken hostage when jihadists overran the border town of Arsal in 2014, Lebanon’s army said.

Lebanon’s army was fighting Islamic State near Ras Baalbek, and the Syrian army and Hezbollah have joined forced in Syria’s west Qalamoun region. The truce was to start at 7 a.m. local time.

“In principle, ISIS has been surrounded. In the past two days we have destroyed them, we killed 70 to 80 of them,” Lebanese Army spokesperson Col. Fadi Abou Eid told CNN.

The United States has designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization and is an ally of Lebanon.

By Allen Cone