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.
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.