Army commader General Joseph Aoun shows a map to President Michel Aoun at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Monday, July 24, 2017. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Hezbollah fighters Monday advanced further into the outskirts of Arsal, coralling the militants in around 10 percent of the terrain and giving them an ultimatum to surrender in return for guaranteed safety.As Hezbollah gained more ground, contacts were made between Fatah al-Sham members to surrender the last part of their remaining territory after Hezbollah surrounded their positions and issued a deadline.However, the source refused to disclose the deadline and said Hezbollah fighters would storm the remaining Fatah al-Sham positions if the deadline passed. Hezbollah previously announced that Daesh's turn in the battle would come soon after the fighting with Fatah al-Sham was concluded.The confirmed death toll as of Monday stood at 19 Hezbollah fighters and 156 militants.Over the previous three days, Syrian warplanes coupled with Hezbollah ground forces bombarded militant-held areas in what Hezbollah has previously said is the final battle to eliminate all threats being posed from the outskirts.
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