The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah (Party of God) began their offensive in the Al-Zabadani District last Monday, when the latter 2 groups captured the Kafeer Yabous border-crossing into Lebanon after it was under the control of the Al-Qaeda linked “Al-Nusra Front” (Jabhat Al-Nusra).

The loyalist forces have strategized a contingency that will concentrate their soldiers near the remaining border-crossings into Lebanon; this will alleviate the pressure on the Lebanese Armed Forces combatting the Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham militants in Ras Ba’albak and ‘Arsaal.

This offensive began in conjunction with the SAA’s 9th Armored Division’s assault on the Al-Nusra Front and Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants in eastern Quneitra.

Ultimately, the loyalist forces are attempting to obstruct the Al-Nusra Front and ISIS from freely moving through the Lebanese/Syrian border, while also flanking these militants from the east (SAA and Hezbollah) and west (Lebanese Army).

According to a military source, 90% of the Al-Zabadani District is under loyalist control; however, the city of Zabadani itself is not in their possession, as the Al-Nusra Front and their allies from “Liwaa Suqour Al-Zabadani” (Falcons of Zabadani Brigades) and “Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham” (Falcons of the Levant Brigades) are fiercely resisting this mounting siege.

 

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