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Lebanese army begins offensive against ISIL on border

شعار Al Jazeera Al Jazeera 19/08/2017
Lebanese soldiers operating near the eastern town of Ras Baalbek [AFP] © Provided by Al Jazeera Lebanese soldiers operating near the eastern town of Ras Baalbek [AFP]

The Lebanese army says it has launched an offensive against an ISIL enclave straddling the northeast border with Syria.

The army was targeting positions of ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, near the town of Ras Baalbek with rockets, artillery and helicopters, a Lebanese security source said.

It is the last part of the Lebanese-Syrian frontier under ISIL control.

"In the name of Lebanon, in the name of kidnapped Lebanese soldiers, in the name of martyrs of the army, I announce that [this] operation...has started," said army chief General Joseph Aoun.

The Lebanese army says it is not coordinating with the Syrian army in its military operations.

"This is perhaps the most tentative area along the border with Lebanon and Syria," Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from Beirut, said.

He said the area for the last few weeks had also been the site of a major military offensive which pushed out Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the group formerly known as al-Nusra Front.

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