It was inevitable was an offensive, but not many observers of the Syrian Conflict could have predicted that the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah would have captured over 200 square kilometers of rugged terrain and steep mountains in only 38 days, while the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” frontline defenses would fall apart during this battle at the eastern slopes of the Qalamoun Mountains in Syria.
Well, reality has sunk in for the militants of Jabhat Al-Nusra: for 37 days they suffered a number of embarrassing defeats at the hands of Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army’s 20th and 128th Brigades of the 1st Armored Division; however, what was even more shocking was the fact that Hezbollah sustained less than two dozen casualties, while Jabhat Al-Nusra and their allies suffered an estimated 200 plus casualties.
As day 38 of this Qalamoun Mountains offensive came to pass, Hezbollah and the Syrian Armed Forces had recaptured the two strategic hills in southwest Jaroud Jarajeer and the remaining Jabhat Al-Nusra hideouts in the process of killing over 25 enemy combatants and destroying three of their armored vehicles that were mounted with a variety of anti-aircraft machine guns.
All that was left for Hezbollah and the Syrian Armed Forces to capture at the northeastern slopes of the Qalamoun Mountains was the border-crossing controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) that leads into ‘Arsal District of the Beqa’a Governorate of Lebanon from Jaroud Jarajeer in western Syria.
With day 39 of the Qalamoun Mountains offensive set to begin, the militants from ISIS prepare themselves for an imminent battle with their nemesis from the Lebanese Resistance; this battle will be crucial for the Lebanese Army that is stationed west of the ‘Arsal District, as Hezbollah’s success could pay future dividends for the Lebanese Armed Forces that seek to retain control of this area.