BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah have been rolling through the Qalamoun region of western Syria this week, liberating large chunks of territory along the Lebanese border.
Hezbollah and Syrian Army units began their offensive on Thursday, striking the Islamic State’s (ISIL) main positions in the Jarajeer Barrens that over look Lebanon’s Ras Ba’albak area.
Within hours of launching their assault, the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah had liberated much of the Jarajeer Barrens, paving the way for their allies in the Lebanese Army to launch their assault to take back Ras Ba’albak.
Over the weekend, the Syrian Army and Hezbollah would continue their advance in the Qalamoun Mountains, as more and more Islamic State fighters turned themselves into the government forces in order to avoid fighting.
On Sunday, the remaining Islamic State militants would suffer another major blow in the southern axis of the Qarah Barrens, as the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah liberated Qarnt Shabat Al-Qadi, Qarnt Mad Mahbas, Qarnt Teem Al-Zamrani, Watiyat Al-Zamrani, and Khirbat Qar ‘Ali.
In addition to their advance at the southern axis, the Syrian Army and Hezbollah scored a new advance at the eastern and northern axes, liberating the Al-Shaqee’ Roundabout, Sin Miri Al-Janoubi point, Sin Fekha Mountain, Harf Mosul Hill, Fekha Crossing, and towns of Shabat Beit Salim and Shabat Zuwaytiniyah Al-Gharbiyah.
The remaining Islamic State forces are likely to surrender their positions in the coming days, as they attempt to secure an evacuation deal with the Syrian and Lebanese governments.