The 48 hour ceasefire between the Syrian Arab Army/Hezbollah and the Islamist rebel factions in the resort-city of Al-Zabadani is now over and the battle for this strategic area has restarted.
However, as the same players continue their fight in Al-Zabadani, a new Islamist group has announced its participation in this battle and their endeavor to recapture the lost territory that was seized by the Syrian Arab Army’s 63rd Brigade of the prestigious 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah.
The Islamist group “Jaysh Al-Islam” (Army of Islam) – led by Zahran Alloush – has announced their counter-offensive to recapture a number of strategic points in Al-Zabadani after 85 percent of this has fallen under the control of Hezbollah and the Syrian Armed Forces.
This will not be an easy task for Jaysh Al-Islam, as Hezbollah and the Syrian Armed Forces are well-equipped and well-positioned to complete their objective, which is to capture the city and leave no Islamist rebel presence in Al-Zabadani.
Jaysh Al-Islam will rely on the vast tunnels that stretch from the town of Madaya to Al-Zabadani in order to launch their counter-offensive against the joint forces of the SAA’s 63rd Brigade and Hezbollah.
According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah do not view the announcement as a legitimate threat due to the fact the Islamist rebels are poorly positioned inside the Mahata District of Al-Zabadani.