A Hezbollah military vehicle drives past parked buses that will militants in near Arsal. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
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The Lebanese Army Monday conducted airstrikes and artillery fire against Daesh (ISIS) positions on the outskirts of Ras Baalbeck, as an exchange deal between Hezbollah and a defeated militant group was delayed due to logistical complications.A security source from the Army confirmed to The Daily Star that a Lebanese Cessna military aircraft carried out airstrikes on moving militant targets hours after Army head Gen. Joseph Aoun told soldiers that they must remain prepared for an all-out offensive to drive the militants out of Lebanon. Later Monday evening, Army artillery carried out strikes against other positions near Ras Baalbeck. Last Thursday, the Army announced that an all-out offensive against Daesh would be launched to defend Lebanon and avenge terrorist attacks carried out by Daesh, which have often targeted the Army.The Army has also reinforced its positions in the area to prevent incursions by militants into Lebanon.During Hezbollah's offensive, the Army played a defensive role, ensuring militants couldn't flee the fight and hide in refugee camps or nearby Lebanese towns.Social Affairs Minister Pierre Bou Assi said the Army was and would always be the only institution responsible for protecting the country and its borders. His comments came as he toured Army posts in Arsal, Ras Baalbeck and Al-Qaa.
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