The Syrian Arab Army’s 42nd and 63rd Brigades of the 4th Mechanized Division – in coordination with Hezbollah, the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA), the National Defense Forces (NDF), and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) – carried out a powerful assault on the positions of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” inside the resort-city of Al-Zabadani on Friday morning.

Following a relatively quiet past few days, the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance plowed through Free Syrian Army and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’s defensive positions inside the Al-Nabua District of Al-Zabadani, killing a total of 13 enemy combatants from the aforementioned Islamist rebel groups.

Not long after the clashes in Al-Nabua began, the Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and the Free Syrian Army found themselves nearly surrounded by the encroaching Hezbollah and Syrian Arab Army soldiers; this resulted in the Islamist fighters having to completely withdraw from Al-Nabua towards Al-Zabadani’s downtown area.

With the Islamist rebels withdrawing from Al-Nabua, the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah completely secured this area, leaving them only a small parcel of territory to go inside Al-Zabadani.

However, the Islamist rebel fighters inside Al-Zabadani have made it clear that they do not plan surrendering to the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah; this has made the offensive far more complicated due to the fact that the Islamists refuse to give-up the remaining buildings they are holed-up in.

Recently, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and their allies restarted their offensive at the isolated Shi’i towns of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya in the Idlib Governorate; this has further agitated the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance due to the repeated ceasefire agreements the Islamist rebels attempted to broker with them.

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If the Islamist rebels continue to assault these two towns; it is likely that Hezbollah and the Syrian Armed Forces will pound the remaining rebels into submission.

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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