Soldier salutes the national flag in the outskirts of Ras Baalbek. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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The Lebanese Army has achieved a decisive victory in its 10-day offensive against Daesh (ISIS), having forced the militants to leave the rugged outskirts of the northeastern towns of Ras Baalbeck and Al-Qaa, marking the final phase of clearing the border region with Syria of terrorism.The withdrawal of Daesh from both sides of the Lebanese-Syrian border was in line with the deal that came into effect following negotiations to uncover the fate of nine Lebanese soldiers kidnapped by Daesh in 2014 .Hariri hailed the Lebanese Army for eliminating the threat of terrorism on Lebanon's border.Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah appeared to be jubilant with the Army's victory against Daesh, calling on the government to declare Aug. 28, 2017, as a day of "Second Liberation" following the withdrawal of Israeli troops from south Lebanon on May 25, 2000 . Speaking in a televised speech, his second in four days, Nasrallah said the Lebanese Army's battle against Daesh had achieved all its goals. Nasrallah, whose group along with the Syrian army were fighting Daesh in Syria's western Qalamoun region on the Syrian side of the border in parallel with the Lebanese Army's offensive, said Hezbollah lost 11 fighters while the Syrian army lost seven soldiers in this battle that liberated the Qalamoun region.
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