(MENAFN - The Peninsula) BEIRUT: The Lebanese army on Saturday launched a military offensive against Islamic State militants in eastern Lebanon near the border with war-torn Syria.
The operation aims to expel militants holed up in the towns of Ras Baalbek, Al-Fakhah and Al-Qaa, army commander Gen. Joseph Aoun said.
President Michel Aoun called field commanders from the Defense Ministry where he was monitoring operations.
"We are looking forward to a victory," Aoun told field commanders, according to a statement released by Lebanon's presidency.
Army forces pounded IS positions in the Ras Baalbek area, shortly after the operation was launched.
Coinciding with the military operation, Lebanese group Hezbollah announced that its fighters, along with the Syrian regime forces, had begun an onslaught to recapture the outskirts of Qalamoun from IS in western Syria.
Lebanese army forces had captured a number of strategic hills in Baalbek on Wednesday as part of the ongoing anti-IS operations in the area.
Earlier this month, Lebanese forces and Hezbollah fighters captured Juroud Arsal town near Syrian border after a military operation against militants based in the area.