Lebanon News

LIVE: Day 7 as Hezbollah, Nusra agree ceasefire, militants to leave

Graphic of Arsal battle (The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: A ceasefire went into effect at 6 a.m. Thursday on the seventh day of the Hezbollah offensive against Jabhat Fatah al-Sham – the militant group previously known as the Nusra Front – in the outskirts of Arsal.

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7:45 p.m.

Initial counting of refugees keen to return to Syria begins. Number expected to be in the thousands. 

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6:20 p.m.

The Daily Star obtains details of the ceasefire agreement which include the return of five captured Hezbollah fighters within 24 hours and the safe passage of militants to Syria's Idlib. For full details of negotiations so far, see here.

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4:58 p.m.

War Media Center reports that Hezbollah fighters entered one of Nusra’s biggest operations facilities, where kidnapped Lebanese soldiers were believed to be taken in 2014.      

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4 p.m.

Lebanese Army takes position in Bekaa towns of Ras Baalbeck and Al-Qaa to launch attacks against Daesh (ISIS), security source tells The Daily Star. Source says that if Army doesn't find out exact fate of missing soldiers, "The Army will raid the Daesh posts and initiate an all-out battle.”

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3:20 p.m.

The terms of the ceasefire include the return of five Hezbollah fighters captured by Nusra: Al-Manar TV sources

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2:21 p.m.

Hezbollah fighters uncover mass grave of Nusra fighters who died in clashes in the outskirts of Arsal, Hezbollah's War Media Center reports. 

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2 p.m.

General Security chief Ibrahim returns to Lebanon, meets with Speaker Nabih Berri.

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1:55 p.m.

The ceasefire is holding. Lebanese authorities and the Red Cross will oversee the exchange and passage of fighters and militants, local media reports. 

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12:40 p.m.

Security source tells The Daily Star that General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim held talks in Syria on safe passage for Fatah al-Sham militants and their families to Idlib. Deal also stipulates release of four captured Hezbollah fighters and a number of bodies held by Fatah al-Sham.

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12:30 p.m.

Future Movement Secretary General Ahmad Hariri arrives in Arsal.

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12:20 p.m.

Hezbollah's War Media Center reports ceasefire holds, as Nusra prepares to withdraw from Lebanon in return for three captured Hezbollah fighters. 

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10:40 a.m.

Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim will not hold a news conference, as previously reported, regarding the ceasefire agreement or the deal for Jabhat Fatah al-Sham fighters to leave for Syria. 

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10 a.m.

Footage from Hezbollah's War Media Center showing fighting Wednesday:

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9:30 a.m.

Local media report that the Lebanese Army is reinforcing positions near Al-Qaa to prevent incursions by militants into Lebanon.   

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8:30 a.m.

Ceasefire reportedly holding, as no reported outbreaks of clashes along all fronts between Hezbollah and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.

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6 a.m.

Ceasefire brokered by General Security head Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim goes into effect. Jabhat Fatah al-Sham fighters to be allowed to leave with their families to Syrian rebel-controlled Idlib. 

 

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