Lebanon's army to clear border area of IS militants

In this December 3, 2014 file photo, Lebanese army special forces patrol in armored personnel carriers, in Ras Baalbek, eastern Lebanon. (AP Photo)

BEIRUT -- Lebanon's US-backed military is gearing up for a long-awaited assault to dislodge hundreds of Islamic State militants from a remote corner near Syrian border, seeking to end a years-long threat posed to neighbouring towns and villages by the extremists.

The campaign will involve cooperation with the militant group Hezbollah and the Syrian army on the other side of the border -- although Lebanese authorities insist they are not coordinating with Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

But the assault could prove costly for the under-equipped military and risk activating IS sleeper cells in the country.

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