BEIRUT (Sputnik) – The Syrian army and the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters have completely freed the mountainous region of western Kalamun (Syrian territory bordering on Lebanon) from the terrorists of the Islamic State (IS, terrorist organization banned in Russia), a source close to Hezbollah told Sputnik on Monday.
Earlier in the day, a source in Lebanon’s Shia movement Hezbollah told Sputnik that a convoy of buses carrying IS militants and their families was heading to Syria from Lebanon as part of a withdrawal agreement.
“The Syrian army and resistance fighters completely liberated the Western Kalamun from [IS] militants, following the departure of the last bus from the Sheikh-Ali/al-Rumiyat border crossing [toward the Abu-Kemal City],” the source said.
On August 19, the Lebanese army launched an operation to defeat IS terrorists on its side of the border with Syria. At the same time, Hezbollah, along with the Syrian army, launched an offensive against IS on the Syrian side of the border. The operation resulted in advance of Lebanese and Syrian troops in the region and severe losses of IS.
On Sunday, Lebanese army and Hezbollah declared a ceasefire to hold negotiations with the IS militants. The terrorists agreed to return remains of eight Lebanese soldiers abducted in 2014 as well as bodies of Shiia militia’s fighters. In return, the Syrian side agreed to allow evacuation of IS terrorists to Abu-Kemal city in the country’s northeastern Deir ez-Zor province. Both Lebanese military and Hezbollah claimed that the evacuation of militants meant their surrender.