The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), supported by Hezbollah fighters and National Defense Forces (NDF) captured, on Sunday, the strategic Al-Hamra –Qusair crossing which links the Syrian town of Flita with Arsal.
The gains also included a set of hilltops located southeast of the Lebanese border town of Arsal. Those mountain peaks overlook two areas which have
long served as ‘bases’ for Al-Nusra militants, namely Wadi Atnin and Wadi Al-Khayl.
Sunday’s push forced the defeated militants to flee their positions and turn to a Syrian Refugee Camp in Wadi Al-Hosn near Arsal.
Reports from the area confirmed that dozens of militants were killed or wounded in the fighting.
In a related context, the Lebanese Army targeted militants’ positions outside Arsal with rockets, leaving scores dead and injured.
Those who were lucky enough to survive found themselves in ISIS-controlled areas of Jarjeer on Arsal outskirts.
Al-Nusra and ISIS have been competing to have full control of Al-Qalamoun, with each side threatening to drive out the other. While ISIS continues to control large swathes to the north of Arsal and parts of the lands near the Lebanese towns of Al-Qaa and Ras Baalbek, Al-Nusra and affiliated groups dominated most of Qalamoun barrens before losing most of it in the month-long offensive launched by Hezbollah and SAA.