The Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra and their allies from the Free Syrian Army’s “Liwaa Suqour Al-Zabadani” (Al-Zabadani Hawks Brigade) and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham are facing a serious dilemma in Al-Zabadani, as the Syrian Arab Army’s 63rd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah area closing-in on the city’s downtown.
On Monday morning, the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah overwhelmed the Islamist rebel militias along Al-Sultani Street, killing a confirmed 26 enemy combatants, while sustaining 8 casualties (2 soldiers from Hezbollah and 6 soldiers from the 63rd Brigade) of their own during this intense battle southeast of the city-center.
Finally, after more than three hours of firefights on Al-Sultani Street, the militants from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra withdrew from the buildings encompassing the street and took-up their new positions at the Al-Houda Mosque, which is also located at an intersection that leads to Jamal ‘Abdel-Nasser Street.
To conclude the day, the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah broke-through Jabhat Al-Nusra’s frontline defenses at the Al-Houda Mosque and imposed complete control over the religious building before nightfall dissipated the fighting.
The Islamist rebels are now wedged from the eastern and western flanks, making it very difficult to lift this siege imposed by the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah.
If the Islamist rebels can somehow recapture the Al-Zalah Neighborhood in southern Al-Zabadani, then they can lift the siege and retreat through the opening at the southern flank in order to take-up their positions in the town of Madaya.