Lebanese and Hezbollag flags are seen in Juroud Arsal, Syria-Lebanon border, July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
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BEIRUT: Hezbollah's swift advance has left a group of militants positioned on the outskirts of Arsal with just three options: fight to the death, surrender or flee to areas held by Daesh and face an unknown fate. Hezbollah's units continued to advance as artillery and Syrian jets pounded militant positions on the fifth day of a large-scale offensive. The Lebanese Army maintained its defensive positions, targeting and shelling militants who attempted to advance or sneak into the refugee camps surrounding the border town of Arsal. Saraya Ahl al-Sham, a Free Syrian Army faction fielding hundreds of men in the region, and Hezbollah reached an agreement to pull out of the area.Hezbollah's offensive continued to focus on Jabhat Fatah al-Sham which now holds some 10 percent of the territory they once did.than 20 Hezbollah fighters and 150 militants have so far been killed in the battles.Militants belonging to Daesh and what at the time was Nusra Front briefly overran Arsal in August 2014, taking over 30 soldiers and policemen hostage.Earlier this month, the Army detained 356 Syrian refugees in the northeastern town of Arsal. The Army raided the location of a suspected terrorist in Arsal, prompting a gunfight which lead to two casualties.
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