Lebanon's prime minister has visited troops near his country's border with Syria, and said that victory against the Islamic State group is near.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri spoke to reporters on Wednesday in Ras Baalbek, where he inspected the military's command center for the ongoing military operation against hundreds of IS militants.

Hariri says: "I never doubted the Lebanese army."

The U.S.-backed Lebanese military is now preparing for the last phase of the operation that began last week to end the militants' presence along the border.

Earlier, the military said it now controls over 80 percent of the areas previously held by IS.

The army launched its operation on Saturday and has since driven out the militants from some 100 square kilometers (62 square miles).