On Wednesday, Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah released an official message to the Iraqi people regarding the deal with ISIS fighters on the Syrian-Lebanese border. Nasrallah said that the message is an answer to some Iraqi officials comments on the deal with ISIS.
Nasrallah stated that the number of ISIS fighters who will leave is only 310. Nasrallah also said that these fighters are moved within the Syrian territories and denied moving them from the Lebanese border to the Iraqi border as some sources claimed.
“The area they were moved to is the front line of the Syrian desert that everyone knows that the Syrian Arab Army –(SAA)- and its allies are fighting on it an intense fight, and that the spearhead of the attack on ISIS in the Syrian desert always been and will be Hezbollah who give away large numbers of martyrs there. By this we are moving these defeated militiamen – ISIS fighters – from a front we fight on, to another front that we fight on,” Nasrallah said.
Nasrallah also revealed that the fate of the 8 Lebanese soldiers, who were previously captured by ISIS in 2014, was the main motive to negotiate with ISIS fighters. Nasrallah explained that the fate of the Lebanese soldiers was the main internal problem in Lebanon.
“Resorting to a comprehensive military victory was possible. However, the case of the fate of the Lebanese soldiers would have been lost,” Nasrallah added.
Moreover, Nasrallah confirmed that the Syrian government was not a part of the agreement, and said that the Syrian leadership only accepted the Hezbollah agreement.
In the end of the message, Nasrallah congratulated the Iraqi people for liberating Tal Afar area, and blessed the rule of all Iraqi militas in Iraq and Syria.
Hezbollah came under a wave of criticism from the Iraqi people and many Iraqi officials after it had agreed to let ISIS fighters to withdraw from the Western Qlamoun region to al-Abukamal city near the Syrian-Iraqi border.
The US-led coalition also criticized the deal and carried out airstrikes on the road that ISIS fighters were moving. Furthermore, the US-led collation even destroyed several ISIS vehicles that was waiting for the arrival of withdrawing ISIS fighters in the eastern Homs countryside.