A Hezbollah fighter stands in front of anti-tank artillery at Juroud Arsal, the Syria-Lebanon border, July 29, 2017. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Hezbollah captures most of the IS territory on Lebanese-Syrian border

Syria’s army, together with the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, continue to battle the Islamic State in a joint offensive that began more than a week ago in Syria’s Western Qalamoun region, which also stretches into small parts of territory in eastern Lebanon. Hezbollah announced that it had, during the course of the past week, captured much of the territory from Islamic State militants, while a separate offensive by the Lebanese army on Lebanon’s side of the border has also forced the extreme-Muslim group to retreat, exerting immense pressure on the Islamic State to relinquish the territory. The loses by the Islamic State have reportedly forced them to negotiate with the Iranian-backed militia, seeking a possible truce in return for a safe withdrawal from its territory to the rebel-held district of Idlib in Syria. If a truce would be reached, the Islamic State would lose the last territory under its control on the Lebanese-Syrian frontier, effectively handing over the area to Iranian-backed militias, a common trend across both Syria and Iraq.