Lebanese Army 'Not Coordinating with Syria to Fight ISIS'

Lebanese military source denies reports of direct military coordination with the Syrian Armed Forces against ISIS, which was announced on Friday by Hezbollah's Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah

A Lebanese army soldier takes his position overlooking an ISIS-controlled area in Arsal, northeast Lebanon (Photo: AP)

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah announced on Friday that an assault on Islamic State militants in the border zone would begin in a few days. He said the Lebanese army would attack Islamic State from the Lebanese side of the border while Hezbollah and the Syrian army would simultaneously attack from the Syrian side.

On Saturday, Lebanese newspaper al-Joumhouria reported from sources that direct military coordination had occurred between the Syrian and Lebanese armies regarding the upcoming offensive against Islamic State. The source said the Lebanese army had been attacking Islamic State for some time, by preventing it spreading further and cutting supply routes.

Lebanese state news agency NNA and a Hezbollah media unit said on Saturday that the Lebanese army had shelled Islamic State positions in the Ras Baalbek and al-Qaa areas of northeast Lebanon.

However, Lebanon rejects the reports of direct military cooperation with the Syrian Army. A military source told Reuters that the Lebanese army will not coordinate with the Syrian army to fight against Islamic State in the Lebanese-Syrian border zone. The source said the Lebanese army had the military capability to confront and defeat the group without any regional or international support.

About three weeks ago, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said the army would carry out an operation in the Juroud Arsal area of northeastern Lebanon at the Syrian border, which has been a base of operations for insurgents fighting in the Syrian civil war, including al-Nusra Front and ISIS.

 

[Source: Reuters]

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