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Hezbollah ready to engage ISIL in Arsal: Senior Official

A high-ranking Hezbollah official says fighters from the Lebanese resistance movement are fully prepared to drive Takfiri militants from the border town of Arsal, and liberate the territory.

Sheikh Nabil Qaouk, the deputy chairman of Hezbollah’s executive council, said on Saturday that the movement is ready as long as “there is territory occupied” on the outskirts of Arsal, which lies about 124 kilometers (77 miles) northeast of the capital, Beirut.

He also accused the March 14 Alliance, led by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, of ‘supporting terrorism and inciting internal strife.’

The senior Hezbollah official added that some Lebanese political factions are “betting” on the success of militants in the strategic mountainous region of Qalamoun on the Lebanese border with crisis-hit Syria.

Hezbollah fighters have been engaged in battles against terrorists in the Lebanese border areas over the past weeks.

On May 27, scores of al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front terrorists were killed after Hezbollah fighters, having spotted militant hideouts by means of a drone, mounted a surprise attack in an area located between Arsal and the northeastern Lebanese village of Nahle.

Hezbollah fighters and units of the Syrian army launched a joint operation on May 4 to push back the Takfiri terrorists from Qalamoun. They have made considerable victories over the militants so far, driving them out of major towns, including Assal al-Ward and Juba, and several other areas.

Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naeem Qassem has said that the resistance movement is resolute to purge Qalamoun of terrorists.

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