Daesh fight­ers sur­ren­der Le­banon-Syria bor­der en­clave

The Miracle - - Middle East - By:NAJIA HOUSSARI www.arab­news.com

BEIRUT: A con­voy of Daesh fight­ers and their fam­i­lies sur­ren­dered their en­clave on the Le­banon-Syria bor­der area on Mon­day and left for eastern Syria af­ter a week-long bat­tle. Daesh had agreed a cease-fire on Sun­day with the Le­banese army on one front and the Syr­ian army and Hezbol­lah on the other af­ter los­ing much of its moun­tain­ous en­clave strad­dling the bor­der. Le­banese of­fi­cials said the evac­u­a­tion was a sur­ren­der. “We do not bar­gain. We are in the po­si­tion of the vic­tor and are im­pos­ing con­di­tions,” said se­cu­rity chief Gen. Ab­bas Ibrahim.A to­tal of 600 peo­ple, in­clud­ing both Daesh fight­ers and their fam­ily mem­bers, left in the con­voy. The mil­i­tants will travel across Syria un­der heavy se­cu­rity es­cort to Daesh lines near Al-Buka­mal in the east, a Le­banese se­cu­rity source said. The Daesh fight­ers set fire to heavy equip­ment and weapons be­fore they left their en­clave. A Le­banese mil­i­tary source said there had been no ne­go­ti­a­tion or co­or­di­na­tion with Syr­ian forces or Hezbul­lah. “We heav­ily bom­barded them and this is what ac­cel­er­ated the process of their sur­ren­der.” The deal also in­volved Daesh hand­ing over the bod­ies of eight Le­banese sol­diers it cap­tured and killed when it over­ran the town of Ar­sal in 2014. DNA tests are be­ing con­ducted to re­veal the iden­tity of each body. Some politi­cians asked why the ter­ror­ists were al­lowed to with­draw with­out be­ing ar­rested. A mil­i­tary source told Arab News: “If the po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion had been in our hands, we would have waged this bat­tle back in 2014, but they did not al­low us to do so.” Gen. Ibrahim said: “Le­banon is a coun­try that doesn’t take re­venge; it rather com­plies with the in­ter­na­tional law. Who­ever falls into the hands of Daesh will cer­tainly be killed, as they are crim­i­nals and mur­der­ers. This is what hap­pened with our hero sol­diers.” Re­gard­ing the fate of pho­tog­ra­pher Samir Kassab and kid­napped bish­ops Bou­los Yaz­iji and Youhana Ibrahim, Gen. Ibrahim said: “They were in­cluded in the re­cent ne­go­ti­a­tions but Daesh con­firmed that it did not kid­nap them and does not know any­thing about them.” He said: “We are now re­view­ing their file from the be­gin­ning to de­ter­mine the side that kid­napped them. I be­lieve Daesh be­cause it was col­laps­ing and un­der pres­sure, there­fore it can­not hide any­thing.” For­mer Le­banese Pres­i­dent Michel Sleiman said: “How can the Le­banese state stand still for the sec­ond time, af­ter the with­drawal of ter­ror­ist Abu Malek Al-Tali and his group, al­low­ing Daesh ter­ror­ists to leave Le­banon to where they choose with­out tri­als, es­pe­cially af­ter con­firm­ing the death of our sol­diers.” He claimed that their “with­drawal came im­ple­ment­ing a bi­lat­eral agree­ment be­tween Hezbol­lah and the Syr­ian regime,” which the Le­banese mil­i­tary de­nies. For­eign Min­is­ter Ge­bran Bas­sil tweeted: “Our sor­row and mourn­ing will not ab­solve us of the re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­veal the truth and hold who­ever killed our sol­diers ac­count­able. Only jus­tice can bring com­fort and peace to their souls.” MP Mo­hammed Safadi asked for “an ex­pla­na­tion re­gard­ing the de­par­ture of Daesh to Deir Ez­zor and the agree­ment re­gard­ing their with­drawal.”

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