On Tuesday night, the Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” abruptly fell apart inside the resort-city of Al-Zabadani after the Syrian Arab Army’s 63rd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah overran their positions near a militant field hospital in the Al-Balad Neighborhood, leaving this imperative city under the latter’s fire control.

This rapid collapse came two days after the Islamist rebel units violated a 48 hour ceasefire agreement with the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah in order to halt the hostilities inside the city of Al-Zabadani and the two predominately Shi’i towns of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya in the Idlib Governorate.

Things did not appear to get any better for the Islamist rebels on Wednesday, as the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah captured more buildings near the Al-Roum Church in Al-Zabadani’s downtown area; this resulted in the death of over 15 enemy combatants from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra, along with the surrender of 8 more militants to the Syrian security forces.

The Islamist rebels are now confined to a small parcel of territory that is limited to a half dozen buildings; if they are unable to reclaim part of their lost ground, they will most likely surrender or face annihilation as the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance close-in on their positions in Al-Zabadani.

To the south of Al-Zabadani, units from the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah intensified their assault at Madaya, targeting the Islamist rebel forces at the southern axis of this town; once again, this will be a critical battle for the Syrian Army and Lebanese Resistance as Madaya is a rebel stronghold near the Lebanese border.

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

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