22:45 GMT +321 July 2018
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    Hezbollah Attacks Kill ISIL Commanders in Lebanon

    © AP Photo / Mohammed Zaatari
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    Two commanders of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) terror group and seven other militants were killed by two separate Hezbollah attacks near the northeastern Lebanese border with Syria, according to a Hezbollah-run news channel.

    The Qalamoun region, along Lebanon’s eastern border with Syria, has been a strategic site for the spillover of the Syrian civil war after militants from IS and the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra front infiltrated the border in an attempt to expand their influence and control smuggling routes between the two countries.

    On Friday, Hezbollah launched two separate attacks in the region, killing two commanders and several militants, and wounding others, according to the Hezbollah-run Al Manar news channel.

    Referring to it as a "new accomplishment for the resistance," Al Manar reported that the first attack occurred in the Khirbet Hammam region in the strategic town of Arsal, targeting a gathering of IS militants. According to the news channel, the militants had gathered to plan and execute a terrorist attack in the nearby eastern city of Baalbeck.

    An IS commander, identified as Abu Aisha al-Libi, and six other militants were killed in the attack.

    In the second operation, Hezbollah fighters destroyed two IS military convoys, killing IS commander Abu Akrama al-Zouhouri and another militant identified as Ahmad Abed al-Mohsen. Several other unidentified militants were reportedly killed and wounded in the attack.

    The attacks come a week after Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah vowed to oust IS and Nusra militants from Lebanon’s northeast. The Lebanese group Hezbollah, along with the Lebanese and Syrian armies have been battling IS fighters along the border in Qalamoun since early May.

    The fighting intensified last week, when eight Hezbollah and nearly 50 IS militants were killed after the Lebanese group intercepted an attack from IS terrorists. It was the most serious confrontation between the two groups since Hezbollah entered Syria three years ago to fight alongside the Assad regime.

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    Tags:
    Daesh, Hezbollah, Ahmad Abed al-Mohsen, Abu Akrama al-Zouhouri, Abu Aisha al-Libi, Hassan Nasrallah, Syria, Lebanon, Arsal, Qalamoun
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