The Syrian Arab Army’s 63rd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division – alongside Hezbollah – have captured the Al-Zalah Neighborhood in southern Al-Zabadani after engaging a large contingent of militants from the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and their allies from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and the Free Syrian Army’s “Al-Zabadani Hawks Brigade.”
According to a military source in Damascus, the Al-Zalah Neighborhood is largely made-up of farms that the Islamist rebel fighters use to replenish their scarce food supplies, due to the Syrian Armed Forces’ encirclement of the city.
Part of the Syrian Armed Forces’ contingency in Al-Zabadani is to hook around the Al-Zalah Neighborhood in order to push the militants from Jabhat Al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, and Liwaa Suqour Al-Zabadani to the north, as the 63rd Brigade, Hezbollah and the National Defense Forces (NDF) continue their flank from the east and west district of the city.
This wont be easy for the Lebanese Resistance and the Syrian Armed Forces because of the prevalence of residential villas that allow the Islamist rebel fighters to hide-out in these neighborhoods, forcing the SAA and Hezbollah to have to do house-to-house combat in order to reach the city’s downtown from the east and west flanks.
What has proved to be a godsend for the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance is the Syrian Arab Air Force’s presence in Al-Zabadani.
On Sunday morning, the Syrian Air Force’s Hind Helicopters pounded Jabhat Al-Nusra and their allies in southern Al-Zabadani; this paved the way for the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah to swoop into the Al-Zalah Neighborhood and capture the entire area.