It was only a matter of time before the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah launched their joint offensive to take the Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) stronghold of Al-Zabadani in the Western Mountains of the Rif Dimashq Governorate; however, not many could have predicted how quick they would mobilize their forces from the Qalamoun Mountains to this mountainous area on the border of Lebanon.

The Syrian Arab Army’s prestigious “4th Mechanized Division” – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Hezbollah – conducted a powerful assault on the east hills of Al-Zabadani, where they captured the strategic hill of Tal Al-Malta, along with a number small hills that are adjacent to the resort-city of Bloudan to the east.

According to a military source in Damascus, the purpose of this offensive at the Al-Zabadani District is to capture the imperative border-crossing into the Beqa’a Governorate of Lebanon and to clear one of Jabhat Al-Nusra’s remaining stronghold’s at this vast mountainous region in west Syria.

Despite the presence of Jaysh Al-Islam (Army of Islam), Jabhat Al-Nusra, and Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) fighters in the hills of Jaroud Qarah near the Homs Governorate border, the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah have taken control of over 250 square kilometers in the Qalamoun Mountains of western Syria and eastern Lebanon.

 

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