Hezbollah fighters put Lebanese and Hezbollah flags in the outskirts of Arsal, July 25, 2017.(REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir)
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A ceasefire went into effect early Thursday morning between Hezbollah and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham as a deal was brokered overnight for the militant group to withdraw from Lebanon to Syria's Idlib in exchange for the return of four captured Hezbollah fighters.Gen. Abbas Ibrahim who negotiated the agreement visited Syria for talks to ensure the safe passage of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham fighters – formerly known as Nusra Front -- from the outskirts of Arsal to Syria's Idlib, a security source told The Daily Star.The ceasefire deal also stipulated that along with the release of the captured Hezbollah fighters, the bodies of five killed Hezbollah fighters would be handed over.The five captured Hezbollah fighters will go from Syria's Idlib to Turkey and fly from Turkey to Beirut within the next 24 hours.Thursday afternoon, Hezbollah fighters seized one of Nusra's biggest operations facilities, where kidnapped Lebanese soldiers were believed to be taken in 2014, the Hezbollah-affiliated War Media Center said.The three Hezbollah fighters were captured in Syria in 2015 and 2016 and appeared in a video put out by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham Tuesday. As of Thursday, the death toll stood around at least 26 Hezbollah fighters and more than 150 militants.
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