Lebanese army launches anti-terror operation near Syrian border
The Lebanese military has launched an offensive against Daesh terrorists in eastern Lebanese territory along the border with Syria.
Lebanese army chief General Joseph Aoun announced the start of the operation, dubbed Jaroud Dawn, on Saturday.
A Lebanese security source also said that the army was now targeting Daesh positions close to the village of Ras Baalbek in eastern Lebanon with rockets, artillery, and helicopter gunfire.
The military campaign began with an attack on the terrorists’ positions in the Western Qalamoon Jaroud region from the north, south, and east.
In a televised news conference later on Saturday, a spokesman for the Lebanese army, Brigadier General Ali Qansowa, said that the military operations would continue until Daesh terrorists were expelled from Lebanese territory.
“Victory is 100 percent assured in offensive, no matter how long it takes and no matter the cost,” he added.
Separately on Saturday, the Hezbollah resistance movement said that it had started a joint operation with the Syrian army inside Syrian territory, according to al-Manar TV station. Earlier this month, reports said that the Lebanese army was making preparations for that assault with the help of Hezbollah and the Syrian military.
The Associated Press reported that more than 3,000 Lebanese troops, including elite special forces, would take part in the campaign inside Syria.
In recent years, terrorists have infiltrated into Lebanon’s border areas from inside Syria.
Some 400 Daesh terrorists are holed up in areas on the Lebanese side of the frontier, while hundreds more are on the Syrian side, according to Lebanon’s Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk.
Last month, Hezbollah concluded a joint counter-terrorism campaign with the Syrian army at Lebanon’s highlands of Arsal.
The militants of the al-Nusra Front group, recently renaming itself Fateh al-Sham, withdrew from Arsal following a series of consecutive defeats that forced them to agree to a ceasefire deal.