BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:00 P.M.) – Several reports emerged on Wednesday that Lebanese Hezbollah movement officials are in talks with commanders of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS, Syrian Al-Qaeda branch) jihadist group over evacuation of the latter’s militants from Jaroud Arsal area in west Qalamoun near the border between Lebanon and Syria.

According to sources, Hezbollah has offered HTS an agreement which will allow jihadists to leave Qalamoun region and evacuate towards north Syria.

As an incentive, Hezbollah has reportedly offered HTS money and is ready to release some of jihadists captured earlier in Lebanon. In return, HTS is supposed to release captive Hezbollah fighters and depart for northern regions of Syria.

In case of settling this agreement, there will be only one jihadist pocket left in the border area of Jaroud Arsal, namely that of the so-called “Islamic state” (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS).

IS jihadists are unlikely to agree to a similar evacuation deal, which means that Hezbollah might well be preparing a major operation in Jaroud Arsal that will have this area completely cleared off militants and secured.

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Adz
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Adz
2017-05-17 20:08

I suspect HTS is trying to consolidate all its forces by uniting them in the Idlib region. I think the move is also defensive in posture just in case the Turks besides the SAA, does anything funny.

jojo
jojo
2017-05-17 21:04

It is troubling that it so often comes down to these evacuation deals, and here they are being offered money and the release of their jihadists. If Syrian forces were strong and capable, they could have neutralized the jihadists without these “deals” which continue to make Idlib and northern areas of Syria more of a jihadist stronghold.

RomeSPQR
Master
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RomeSPQR
2017-05-17 22:29
Reply to  jojo

Yes you make sense but at the same time, it will free some SAA/hezbollah units for other more important fronts

Wake Thehellup
Wake Thehellup
2017-05-18 00:17
Reply to  jojo

“they could have neutralized the jihadists without these “deals”” It has been proven time and time again that with their allies like Hezbollah, the SAA is plenty strong. You seem to not be accounting for the safety and well being of the civilians and non-combatants in those areas and there are always many times more of them, than the opposition/rebel/jihadist/terrorist fighters. Contrary to the published reports of most western MSMs and certainly the putrid rambling propaganda of the our war-hawks here in the US and EU, Assad and the SAA are doing everything they can to minimize civilian and non-combatant… Read more »

Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux
2017-05-18 18:58
Reply to  jojo

jojo : war ain’t a soccer match! Unfortunately! It’d had spared lives of millions if it was so!