Lebanon News

Hezbollah shells rain down on ISIS in northeast Lebanon

A Hezbollah fighter patrols a hill on the Lebanese side of the Qalamoun mountains on the border with Syria on May 20, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID

BEIRUT: Hezbollah targeted ISIS positions on the outskirts of a northeastern Lebanese border town Wednesday, killing or wounding scores of militants, Al-Manar TV reported, one day after the extremist group's leader for the region died in an attack.

The Hezbollah-run station said party fighters shelled ISIS positions on the outskirts of Ras Baalbek in an area it identified as Shanshara.

Hezbollah has been targeting ISIS positions on Ras Baalbek's outskirts for at least three consecutive days.

The party has intensified its attacks on ISIS east of Ras Baalbek after it repelled a militant attack last week, which sparked a battle that killed eight Hezbollah fighters and about 50 ISIS militants. It was the most serious border confrontation between the two sides since Hezbollah joined the Syrian war three years ago.

On Tuesday, Al-Manar said that ISIS's "emir" for the Qalamoun region Abu Balqis al-Baghdadi was killed in shelling on the eastern outskirts of Lebanon's Arsal, about 7 kilometers south of Ras Baalbek, in the area of Wadi Hmayed.

Hezbollah and the Syrian army have been battling ISIS and Nusra Front fighters in the Qalamoun region along Lebanon's eastern border with Syria since early last month.

The allied forces have captured about two-thirds of the rugged border region from the militants since launching the offensive on May 4. Militants are now mostly holed up in northern Qalamoun, on the eastern outskirts of Arsal and Ras Baalbek.

Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah vowed last week to oust ISIS from northeastern Lebanon.





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