While the militants from the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” boast about their victory at the city of Ariha in the Idlib Governorate, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah have secured 90 percent of the territory in the Qalamoun Mountains of Syria after countering the failed offensive by the Al-Qaeda linked militants on the border of Lebanon.
In fact, the Syrian Arab Army’s 20th and 128th Brigades of the 1st Armored Division and Hezbollah have secured the most important roads leading to Syria’s capital of Damascus from Lebanon, all the while, Jabhat Al-Nusra and their affiliates downplay the importance of their losses in the Qalamoun Mountains to create the façade that the Syrian Government and their armed forces are falling apart.
For Jabhat Al-Nusra, their Qalamoun offensive they launched in early May has turned into a complete disaster for their forces, as the Syrian Al-Qaeda organization has suffered 163 casualties (confirmed numbers) in the last two weeks; this is coupled with the fact they lost their most important stronghold in the Qalamoun Moountains at Tal Al-Moussa.
What does this mean for Jabhat Al-Nusra?
The loss of the Qalamoun Mountains leaves Jabhat Al-Nusra and their affiliates with only one last supply route into the Rif Dimashq Governorate from Lebanon; this supply route is located at the Al-Zabadani-Nahleh border-crossing, which is currently being contested by the SAA’s 41st Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division and the 103th Brigade of the Republican Guard.
What does this mean for the Syrian Armed Forces?
If the Syrian Armed Forces can take complete control over the Qalamoun Mountains and Al-Zabdani, they will have effectively freed up 7,700 soldiers, two tank brigades, and elite forces from the SAA’s 4th Mechanized Division and the Republican Guard; this will allow them to redeploy these soldiers to the remaining militant pockets at the West Ghouta, Wadi Al-Barada, Ad-Dumayr, and the East Ghouta.