The Hezbollah affiliated Al-Manar TV station reported on Friday that forces of the Iran-backed terror proxy in Lebanon killed two Islamic State (ISIS) commanders and seven ISIS terrorists in two separate attacks near a northeastern border town.
Both incidents took place in the chaotic Qalamoun mountainous region near Syria, where ISIS as well as Syrian rebel groups such as the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria Nusra Front are seeking to expand their influence and control smuggling routes.
On the outskirts of Arsal on Friday ISIS commander Abu Aisha al-Libi and six other terrorists were killed as they held a meeting at Khirbet Hamam to plan an attack against the eastern city of Baalbek, the Hezbollah paper said as cited by the Lebanese The Daily Star.
In the same Khirbet Hamam area, Hezbollah terrorists also reportedly destroyed two military convoys, presumably of ISIS. Another ISIS commander, named as Abu Akrama al-Zouhouri, along with ISIS terrorist Ahmad Abed al-Mohsen were said to have been killed in the attack.
The Shi'ite Hezbollah has been propping up the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad under Iran's orders, and in the course of those efforts has been fighting the Sunni ISIS as well as Nusra Front, both of which have been active in the Qalamoun area.
Reportedly Hezbollah has made recent gains in the region, after repelling an ISIS attack last week in which eight Hezbollah fighters and 50 ISIS fighters were killed according to The Daily Star, in what was said to be the most serious border firefight since Hezbollah got involved in Syria.
Then on Tuesday, Al-Manar claimed that the ISIS "emir" for the Qalamoun region Abu Balqis al-Baghdadi was killed in shelling on the eastern outskirts of Arsal, in the Wadi Hmayed area roughly seven kilometers (just over four miles) south of Ras Baalbek.
Hezbollah and the Lebanese army reportedly have captured two-thirds of the Qalamoun mountain region back from ISIS and Nusra Front since launching an offensive on May 4.
The paper noted that ISIS and the rebel forces are now mostly located in northern Qalamoun, to the east of Arsal and Ras Baalbek.