The clock is ticking for the Islamist rebels in Al-Zabadani: “surrender or die” is the offer that was left on the table by Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army’s 63rd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division.

While the militants of the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, and the Free Syrian Army’s “Al-Zabadani Hawks” have yet to respond to this proposal, the Syrian Armed Forces and the Lebanese Resistance have wasted no time dictating their fate at this resort-city in the Rif Dimashq Governorate.

In fact, since the proposal was first offered to Jabhat Al-Nusra and their allies, the aforementioned groups have conceded a plethora of territory to the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah, resulting in the complete encirclement of rebel fighters at Al-Zabadani.

On Tuesday, things did not get any better for Jabhat Al-Nusra and company: the Islamist rebels suffered another devastating loss inside the city, as the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah unearthed a 350 meter long tunnel that stretches from Al-Zabadani to the town of Madaya to the south.

Furthering their plight in Al-Zabadani, the Islamist rebels lost a collection of villas along Jamal ‘Abdel-Nasser Street, which subsequently led to the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah taking control of these empty residential homes before nightfall on Tuesday.

To further add insult to injury for the Islamist rebels, Hezbollah and the SAA’s 63rd Brigade finally reached the edge of Al-Zabadani’s downtown after almost two weeks of firefights.

The battle for Al-Zabadani is not looking good for the Islamist rebels, as they have no outlet to retreat and limited supplies to carry on the fight against the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah.

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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