Day 42 of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA)/Hezbollah offensive in the resort-city of Al-Zabadani began with a promising start, as more militants from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham surrendered themselves to the Syrian security forces amid the continued advance by the Lebanese Resistance and Syrian Armed Forces.
On Wednesday night, nine combatants from the Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham affiliated “Hamza ibn ‘Abdel-Mutalib Brigades” surrendered themselves to Syrian security forces after they clashed with the Syrian Arab Army’s 63rd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah at Mahata District near Al-Zabadani’s city-center.
Prior to the surrender of the fighters from the Hamza ibn ‘Abdel-Mutalib Brigades, a man identified by SANA as a surrendered combatant from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham appeared on the broadcast network to plead with his comrades to surrender to the Syrian security forces, while also cursing the corruption among the Islamist rebel groups operating inside Al-Zabadani.
The SAA’s 63rd Brigade and Hezbollah gave Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” 72 hours to surrender themselves to the Syrian security forces in exchange for potential amnesty; however, the overwhelming majority of these combatants have refused to surrender, despite being outnumbered, encircled, and likely low on provisions.
Should the Islamist rebels surrender the resort-city of Al-Zabadani; this will allow the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance to concentrate these units to the Wadi Barada and Jaroud Rankous areas in the western countryside of the Rif Dimashq Governorate.
Meanwhile, the Islamist rebels inside Al-Zabadani are holding on for dear life, in the hope that their comrades can negotiate a safe passage for them from the city’s parameters.