Islamic State territory on Lebanon-Syria border is captured

  • Michaela Ceklová
  • 31.8.2017 13:38

At the border between Lebanon and Syria, a truce between the Islamic State (IS), the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Iran-backed Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army was negotiated on 27 August. The border area between Lebanon and Syria has been held by IS since 2014, the IS fought against both Syrian pro-government forces, the Shia Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army in the region with all sides independently launching an offensive against the group about a week ago. The escort of IS fighters, who agreed to forced evacuation for the first time, is covered by the SAA and Hezbollah militants. They should safely transport them to the IS territory, which was a part of the ceasefire agreement. The agreement was criticized by both the coalition led by the United States and neighboring states like Iraq. According to the latest information, the escort was stopped by the US on 30 August, likely to gain information on the positions and capacities of the IS.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), supported by the US-led coalition, announced that they expect full liberation of Raqqa within two months. At the same time, an offensive on the Dajr az-Zaur province, which is virtually the last province held by the IS, is expected within a few weeks. The SAA supported by Russia and Iran has also been successful and has managed to gain a significant part of the territory in Central Syria in the Homs province in recent weeks. Traditionally, there are clashes between the SDF and the Syrian Free Army (FSA) near the border with Turkey, but the incidents point to the complexity of the battlefield in Syria rather than some more intense problems between the struggling factions.

At the beginning of the month, the UN said it hoped to resume peace talks between the Syrian government and a united Syrian opposition. The expected date to resume the negotiations is set for October or November but after the previous unsuccessful rounds, a breakthrough is improbable.

About author: Michaela Ceklová

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