“ISIS had no choice, but to submit to us, because they had collapsed from within and had to accept our conditions,” the leader of hezbollah said in a televised address on Monday explaining about evacuation of ISIS terrorists from Qalamoun region near the border with Syria.
Nasrallah pointed out that the battle against ISIS terrorists in Qalamoun has achieved all its objectives, describing the evacuation of the Takfiris from the rugged mountainous region as “the second victory” as Lebanon-Syria border region has been completed purged of their presence.
He went on to say that the fight against ISIS is a battle and not an act of personal vengeance, praising the Lebanese army soldiers for their successful operation against ISIS.
The Hezbollah chief also described Takfiri terrorism as part of a US-Israeli plot in the region, stating that Washington and Tel Aviv sponsor terrorists in order to dictate their hegemony in the Middle East region.
On August 19, Hezbollah and the Syrian army launched an operation to purge ISIS from Qalamoun, located about 330 kilometers (205 miles) north of the Syrian capital, Damascus.
Hezbollah launched a major push on July 21 to clear both sides of Lebanon's border with Syria of “armed terrorists.”
Earlier on Monday, ISIS terrorists and their families began evacuating Syria's strategic and mountainous Qalamoun region, heading towards eastern part of the country as part of a negotiated deal to end the extremists’ presence near the Lebanese border.
Lebanese and Syrian media reported that an unidentified number of militants and their families headed in buses toward the ISIS-controlled city of al-Bukamal, which lies on the Euphrates River in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr and near the border with Iraq.
The media bureau of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement said ambulances ferried 25 wounded Daesh Takfiris from the area.
On Sunday, the Syrian government agreed to a deal between Hezbollah and ISIS, which allows the transfer of Takfiri militants from Qalamoun to eastern Syria.
Nasrallah stated that there were about 670 ordinary people along with 26 injured ones and 380 ISIS militants among those who left Qalamoun region on Monday.
Referring to recent discovery of the bodies of a number of Lebanese soldiers who had been in captivity of the ISIS Takfiri terrorist group since 2014, Nasrallah said all parties involved in expelling terrorists were unanimous that without shedding light on the fate of Lebanese soldiers, any victory would be defective.
The Lebanese soldiers were among 30 troops and police kidnapped by ISIS and terrorists linked to al-Nusra Front, a former affiliate of al-Qaeda, in August 2014 when they briefly overran the Lebanese border town of Arsal.
Four were killed by their captors and a fifth died of his wounds while 16 were released in a prisoner swap in December 2015.
The Lebanese Hezbollah leader emphasized that negotiation was the best way to solve the problem of Daesh’s presence along Syrian border with Lebanon, noting that if they had chosen a military solution, they would not be able to find the location of the Lebanese soldiers.
He added that defeating ISIS in various parts of Syria, including in Raqqah, Aleppo and Homs, was instrumental in convincing the terrorist group to leave the Lebanese border with Syria.
“We must not forget that this great victory was achieved through cooperation between Lebanon and Syria,” Nasrallah said, adding that there was currently no terrorist on the Lebanese soil and Hezbollah’s mission had been successfully accomplished.