ISIS leaves Lebanon-Syria border

Battle to regain Raqqa must not be about defeating ISIL at all costs – Zeid

The coalition said in a statement it did not strike the convoy but did hit "individual vehicles and fighters that were clearly identified as ISIS".

About 300 ISIL fighters and their families were headed to a town held by the extremist group near Syria's eastern frontier with Iraq after being evacuated on Monday from the border region between Lebanon and Syria under a ceasefire deal.

The ceasefire took effect on Sunday and saw a convoy of 308 militants with small arms and 331 civilians leave the border area under Syrian army escort.

He said 11 Hezbollah fighters died in the weeklong operation on the Syrian side of the border.

Last week, the head of the Deir al-Zor military council, a part of the SDF, said an offensive to capture the eastern province of Deir al-Zor from Islamic State would start soon. "They know that Iraqis destroyed their second biggest city [Mosul] so that Daesh fighters would not escape and Iraq's neighbors would not be harmed", he wrote in a Facebook post.

After a meeting with President Michel Aoun, the army commander congratulated the military on "its victory against terrorism" and offered his condolences to the families of fallen soldiers. "Hezbollah's answer was categorical, that is, any solution, whether it be partial or whole, must first include the fate of the soldiers".

"We have removed all the terrorists who were on the border and posed a threat to the whole of the Lebanon Valley", he added.

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"We have long expressed our concerns about Hezbollah's military operations in Lebanon, which violate UN Security Council Resolution 1701 by defying the global community's call to disarm", they added.

In 2014, ISIS and al-Qaeda militants overran the Lebanese border town of Arsal, kidnapping 30 Lebanese soldiers and sending shockwaves through the country.

Critics inside Lebanon say Hezbollah's involvement in Syria inflamed sectarian tensions at home and brought jihadists to the door.

The battle to drive out Isis from its self-proclaimed caliphate and stronghold in the Syrian city of Raqqa looks set to end within two months, a top-ranking Kurdish commander has said - but she expects the fighting to intensify as the endgame approaches. The U.S. supports the Lebanese army but not the Russia-backed Syrian army, led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"The ones who are crying today about the surrender of ISIS in Syria and Iraq are Netanyahu and the senior Israeli officials", Nasrallah said, according to a report on Channel 10 News.

Ahmed said the SDF was focused on the Raqqa battle for now and had not yet set plans to launch an assault in Deir al-Zor province, which is further down the Euphrates towards the Iraqi frontier and remains nearly entirely under IS control. "Their souls are my responsibility", Gen Aoun told reporters.

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