BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:15 A.M.) – The Syrian and Lebanese armies are in full control of their border for the first time in six years, following the Islamic State’s (ISIL) surrender in the western Qalamoun.
According to Hezbollah’s official media wing, their forces and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) have liberated approximately 195km of border territory since their Al-Qusayr offensive in April of 2013.
Following Al-Qusayr’s capture, the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah launched three different operations in the Qalamoun Mountains, starting with the liberation of Ma’aloula, Al-Nabk, and Yabroud in late 2013.
Phase two of the Qalamoun offensive began in the Spring of 2015, when Hezbollah and the Syrian Army’s 4th Division liberated Jaroud Faleeta and Jaroud Rankous along the Lebanese border.
During the second phase of the offensive, the Islamic State took control of Jaroud Qarah, Jaroud Jarajeer, and Ras Ba’albak (Lebanon) in the western Qalamoun.
The Islamic State’s occupation of the aforementioned areas required the Hezbollah, and the Syrian and Lebanese armies to launch the third phase of the Qalamoun offensive this month.
It took nearly ten days, but Hezbollah and the Syrian Army secured the Islamic State’s surrender; thus, putting an end to their two year long occupation of the western Qalamoun.