Hezbollah fighter Ahmad Maatouk, released Wednesday night, is welcomed back in south Lebanon (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Returning home to a street celebration Thursday, a Hezbollah fighter freed by Daesh (ISIS) the evening before was welcomed by his family and supporters in south Lebanon.The Hezbollah fighter, who had been in captivity in eastern Syria, was released late Wednesday night by Daesh as part of a deal that ended a successful military offensive against the group on the Lebanese-Syrian border.Many families in the south have lost young men to Hezbollah's intervention in the Syrian war to prop up the regime of Bashar Assad.Maatouk's release came after a two-pronged attack targeted Daesh positions on the Syrian-Lebanese border. The Lebanese Army attacked the militants from the Lebanese side of the border, while Hezbollah and the Syrian army – in an unrelated offensive – attacked the militants from the Syrian side. As part of the cease-fire deal, Daesh militants and their families were guaranteed safe passage to the Syrian city of Deir al-Zor.As stipulated by the cease-fire deal, a convoy of buses carrying Daesh fighters and their families left the border areas, bound for Deir al-Zor, soon after the conclusion of the fighting on Aug. 28 .
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