Lebanon, Hezbollah move against ISIL

The Lebanese army has launched an offensive against an Islamic State enclave on Lebanon’s northeast border with Syria.

The armed group Hezbollah simultaneously announced an assault on the militants from the Syrian side of the border.

Both operations are aimed at Islamic State militants in the western Qalamoun region of Syria, an area across the frontier from the Lebanese city of Ras Baalbek. The area is the last part of the Lebanese-Syrian frontier under insurgent control.

Any joint operation between the Lebanese army on the one hand, and Hezbollah and the Syrian army on the other would be politically sensitive in Lebanon and could jeopardize the US military aid the country receives. Washington classifies the Iran-backed Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

A Lebanese security source said the two operations were not coordinated but a commander in the pro-Syrian alliance said that “naturally” there was coordination.
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