August 30, 2017 / 4:42 PM / 3 months ago

Hezbollah leader defends evacuation of IS fighters

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The leader of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, on Wednesday defended the Lebanese group’s involvement in an evacuation deal for Islamic State fighters from the Syria-Lebanon border to an area of eastern Syria held by Islamic State.

FILE PHOTO - Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah speaks via a screen during a rally marking the 11th anniversary of the end of Hezbollah's 2006 war with Israel, in the southern village of Khiam, Lebanon August 13, 2017. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

In a statement responding to criticism of the move from Iraq, he said it was a Hezbollah deal agreed upon by the Syrian leadership, that the fighters were few in number, and were being moved from one front Hezbollah was fighting in to another.

Reporting by Angus McDowall; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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