Two months ago, Hezbollah was engaged in a violent offensive to capture the imperative resort-city of Al-Zabadani; however, an abrupt 6 month long ceasefire agreement between all of the parties involved put an end to the Lebanese Resistance’s offensive in rural Damascus.

Instead of sitting idly, Hezbollah answered the call to assist the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) that were combatting the Islamist rebels and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) all over the Aleppo Governorate’s rugged terrain.

In early October, Hezbollah – in coordination with the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division, Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary), Kata’eb Hezbollah (Iraqi paramilitary), the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and several other groups – launched an offensive in southern Aleppo, capturing a significant amount of ground in only 40 days.

Hezbollah has proven to be extremely effective against the Islamist rebel groups in southern Aleppo, seizing the strategic towns of Tal Al-Eiss, Abtayn, and Al-Hadher in such an impressive manner that most pro-government sources even doubted the news of their success because it seemed too good to be true.

However, most underestimate Hezbollah’s military capabilities and their overall effectiveness against the groups like the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and ISIS; these two Islamist groups have been a thorn in the Syrian Government’s side.

So, why have they chosen to fight in southern Aleppo? It is the same answer across the board for the other pro-government groups participating in this offensive: Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya in the Idlib Governorate.

The ultimate goal for Hezbollah and their allies is to capture the territory leading to the predominately Shi’i towns of Kafraya and Al-Fou’aa; and by doing so, they will no longer be at the mercy of the Islamist rebels that use these two towns to threaten the pro-government forces with an attack on the civilian populous.

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As of now, Hezbollah and their allies are approximately 17km away from Al-Fou’aa and only 11km from the Islamist rebel stronghold of Taftanaz; if the aforementioned town is captured, the Islamist rebel groups will be in serious trouble.

If the Islamist groups like Jabhat Al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, and Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki continue to underestimare Hezbollah’s fighting prowess – they will be in for a surprise if they are unable to stop the Lebanese Resistance’s rapid progress.

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

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Rebels in Idlib, Aleppo pledge SDF; loyalists attack in Latakia | Digital Witness

[…] ceasefire around Zabadani freed up Hezbollah forces for other operations, al- Masdar News wrote. Some reportedly found their way into the southern Aleppo offensive, fighting around al- Eiss, […]