The Syrian Arab Army’s 63rd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah are on the move in the resort-city of Al-Zabadani, capturing numerous buildings and street blocks, while also clearing the area of the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and their allies from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
On Friday morning, the joint forces of the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah continued where they left off on Thursday night, attacking Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham at Al-Barada Street in the west district, where they were able to impose control over a number of empty villas used by the Islamist rebels to house their combatants inside Al-Zabadani.
Southwest of Al-Barada Street, the Islamist rebels attempted to push back the SAA’s 63rd Brigade at the Al-Houda Mosque; however, they were unsuccessful due to the persistent aerial attacks from the Syrian Arab Air Force’s Hind Helicopters that pounded their positions on Friday afternoon.
To make matters worse for the Jabhat Al-Nusra and their allies, the Syrian Armed Forces are also pushing into downtown Al-Zabadani from the east district; this has resulted in a flank from the east and west districts.
The Syrian Armed Forces are attempting to hook from the southwestern flank in order to push north towards the remaining Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham positions in Al-Zabadani’s city-center.
Even if the Syrian Armed Forces and the Lebanese Resistance were to capture Al-Zabadani in the coming days, the Islamist rebels still control territory west of Rankous (the border-crossing) and the town of Madaya.