Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi Vice President Nouri al-Maliki defended on Thursday a deal between Lebanese militia Hezbollah and Islamic State militants by which the latters were allowed to evacuate safely from the Lebanese-Syrian borders to areas near the Syrian borders with Iraq.
Maliki denounced what he described as “the systematic campaign (of criticisms) against Hezbollah, adding that transferring Islamic State militants was “part of the strategy against terrorism powers”. According to Maliki, “every battle has its circumstances and its tools for victory”.
A deal between Hezbollah and Islamic State fighters, approved by the Syrian government, has gone into force, granting IS militants a safe exit from the Syrian-Lebanese borders towards the Syrian Al-Boukamal city, near the borders with Iraq’s Anbar.
Baghdad has lambasted the agreement, saying it endangers its security. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on Wednesday for an investigation by Damascus into the controversial deal. A spokesperson of the U.S.-led coalition also said the militants should have been killed rather than given a safe exit.
Hezbollah reached the deal with IS militants in return for retrieving the bodies of an Iranian soldiers killed during encounters between the Lebanese army and the militants on the Syrian-Lebanese borders over the past week.