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Conflict Incident Report

Army led an offensive to expel Daech from Lebanese territory

Date of incident: 
August 19, 2017 to August 29, 2017
Death toll: 
Number of Injured: 
Actors/Parties Involved: 
Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF)
Islamic State (IS); Daech *

On the 19th, the Lebanese launched 'Fajr al-Joroud' (Dawn of the Outskirts) operation against Daesh (ISIS) positions on the outskirts of al-Qaa and Ras Baalbek towns. Army helicopters, artillery, and rocket launchers pounded Daesh positions on the outskirts of Ras Baalbek.

During the first day of fighting, 20 Daesh militants were killed, 9 Lebanese Army soldiers were wounded, and 1 died.

Joreige added that so far 30 kilometers of territory had been recaptured from the militant group, including 11 Daesh positions.

On the second day of the offensive, the 20th, the Army started shelling Daech militants since the early hours. As the units were advancing, the Army recaptured several hilltops, and Daech positions in the outskirt of Ras Baalbeck. The Army's engineering units are dismantling the landmines that Daesh militants left behind.

The Army had also foiled two Daesh vehicle suicide attackers - one in a car and one on a motorbike - on the outskirts of Ras Baalbek as they approached Army positions to blow themselves up.

Three Lebanese Army soldiers were killed and one critically wounded when a landmine destroyed their vehicle on the Dowar al-Najasa in the outskirts of Arsal. Two other soldiers were wounded in clashes with Daesh militants.

On this second day of offensive, the Army had seized an additional 30 square kilometers from Daesh, putting the total amount of territory wrested from the group at 80 square kilometers. During the day's fighting, the Army spokesperson also said that 15 militants had been killed.

On the 21st, the third day, the Army,  backed by artillery, rocket fire, and air crafts was attacking a key Daesh position east of Ras Baalbek. Meanwhile, the army engineering units are sweeping areas planted with landmines and suspicious objects to pave the way for Army frontline units to implement the last round of the "Fajr Al-Jroud" military operation. 

Army units repulsed Daesh counterattack on a newly liberated hilltop east of Ras Baalbek, inflicting heavy casualties among militants.

Lebanese army units have seized large quantities of weapons, munitions, and explosives inside the positions formerly occupied by Daesh.The seized weaponry included medium and heavy machine guns, in addition to mortar bombs, hand grenades, surface-to-air missiles, mines, and war rifles. 

At the end of the day, army pounded remaining Daesh positions with artillery and rockets ahead of a final push to drive militants out of Lebanese territory.

On the beginning of the fourth day of the offensive, one Army soldier was killed and four others were wounded during a specialized Army unit’s attempt to dismantle an explosive device in Wadi al-Kheshen, in the outskirts of the northeastern town of Arsal.

Following this, the Army launched the third phase of the Fajr al-Joroud operation, engaging in clashes in Ras al-Kahef outskirts.

Heavy clashes erupted in Dhour al-Kahf and a number of Daesh militants flee towards Wadi Mira. The army recaptured 20 sq.m. of strategic Daech's territory in al-Qaa outskirts, including the important Ras al-Kaf hilltops. It was followed by a demining operation during which units dismantled explosives and booby traps left behind by Daesh militants. 

During the fourth day's offensives, in an artillery barrage and the subsequent direct ground engagement, the Lebanese Army killed 10 Daesh militants.

Lebanese Army units began repositioning themselves at the fifth morning in preparation for the fourth phase of the 'Fajr al-Joroud' offensive against Daesh (ISIS) militants.

On the 24th, sixth day of the offensive, the Army continued its offensive against Daesh on the Lebanese side of the border as it put into motion the fourth and final phase of its offensive dubbed “Fajr al-Joroud,” targeting Daesh’s remaining posts and destroying two vehicles transporting explosives and munitions in Wadi Martbaya. Daesh had reached out to the Army to negotiate a cease-fire, but the Army refused the request.

The 25th was punctuated by the itensification of the Army's shelling on Daech arms caches and positions in Ras Baalbeck in order to prepare the final phase of the offensive. 

On the 26th, eighth day of the offensive, Army artillery and warplanes continued shelling several Daesh posts in Wadi Martbaya in the mountainous outskirts of Ras Baalbeck, destroying Daesh posts, causing casualties among militants. 

One Lebanese Army soldier killed in a Daesh attack on a military vehicle in the Ras Baalbeck outskirts, bringing the death toll to six among Army ranks.

It's on the 27th's morning that the Army agreed to a cease-fire in order to reveal the fate of the kidnapped soldiers.The next day, Daech militants left the country by bus, toward Syria.

On the 29th, after Daech's militants departure, army units have completed their deployment in the locality of Wadi Martbaya and its surroundings. The army hoisted the Lebanese flag over the hilltops Halima Qara, Oqabat Martbaya and Halima al-Qabou. These hilltops are considered the highest in the area. In the meantime, army engineering regiment's specialized teams are currently conducting a survey on these lands to detect bombs, mines and suspicious objects left behind by the terrorists. 

Primary category: 
Heavy Artillery [inc.rocket attacks]
Secondary Category: 
Clashes/Armed Conflict
Classification of conflict (primary): 
Border conflicts (Syrian border)
Violations, disputes and/or conflicts arising between rival armed groups along the Lebanese/Syrian borders which involve parties or militant groups from the Lebanese and Syrian side in both Lebanon and Syria. These conflicts also encompass transnational groups (such as faith-based regional groups, e.g. ISIS, al-Nusra Front) that cannot be considered as strictly Syrian, Lebanese or of any other national entity.
Classification of conflict(secondary):
Power & governance conflicts
Violent or non-violent conflicts associated with antagonisms related to internal political tensions between local and/or national groups and parties. These tensions may be encouraged by internal, regional and international parties. Such conflicts are characterized by their defiance and/or opposition to central State power and governance.