Lebanon PM Says Army Preparing for Military Action on ISIS Hideouts Along Syria Border

Expected operation follows statement last week by Hezbollah, saying that the time had come to restore security to restive Arsal region where ISIS militants are believed to be hiding

File photo: A Lebanese soldier carries his weapon as he stands at an army post in the hills above the Lebanese town of Arsal, near the border with Syria, Lebanon September 21, 2016.
Mohamed Azakir/REUTERS

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri says the army is preparing for a security operation along a lawless section of the border with Syria.

An operation has been expected since the head of Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah militant group said last week it was time to restore security in the Arsal region.

Hundreds of Islamic State and al-Qaida-linked militants are believed to be hiding in mountains around Arsal, a Lebanese border town that has been overwhelmed by refugees from the war in neighboring Syria.

The militants seized Arsal briefly in 2014, abducting several Lebanese servicemen, before retreating back to the mountains. The Army and Hezbollah have kept the town under restrictive guard since then.

Hariri's comments to parliament were carried by the state-run National News Agency on Tuesday.