A Hezbollah controlled state television channel, Al-Mannar, has claimed that the Lebanese army, along with its Syrian and Hezbollah allies have declared a ceasefire with the so called Islamic State after a week-long joint campaign.

The joint-offensive began last week when the Lebanese army and the Hezbollah, along with their Syrian allies, liberated a vast portion of land which was previously under the Islamic State's control. The terrorist organisation now controls just 40 square kilometres of land on the Syrian side and 20 on the Lebanese side, announced Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in a televised media briefing on Thursday.

"The remaining ISIS terrorists are completely confused and seek an escape or any settlement to exit the area which they have occupied after being besieged," said Nasrallah.

Conflicting reports

There are contradicting reports coming out of the region following the conclusion of the joint counter offensive. The Lebanese army has claimed that the intention of signing a ceasefire truce was to sit down for negotiations to search for its missing soldiers. They did not confirm whether they have defeated the so called Islamic State. Hezbollah, on the other hand, is reporting that several IS combatants have surrendered and turned over the bodies of two Lebanese soldiers while promising to help search for the ones who are unaccounted for.

Search for missing soldiers prioritised

Nine Lebanese soldiers were taken as captives by ISIS and the al-Nusra Front from Northeastern Lebanon in 2014. It is believed that the Lebanese army is searching for information for its missing troops, MiddleEastEye reports.

"There has been no time-frame set," said an army source to AFP.

"The negotiations are ongoing for the IS to withdraw and provide information on the fate of the troops."

Hezbollah has been one of the effective forces in driving out ISIS and al-Nusra strongholds along the Lebanese border. They have been cooperating with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's government forces to combat the militants' insurgency.

The United States backed Lebanese army does not want to associate itself with Hezbollah which the U.S. has declared as a terrorist organisation. The Lebanese army which had shown neutrality in the ongoing chaos in the region was forced to resume relationships with the Syrian government after Hezbollah leaders put pressure on the Lebanon government.