Syria, Hezbollah seize full control over Zabadani plains
Iran Press TV
Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:21PM
Syrian troops and fighters of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah have established full control over some strategic areas on the outskirts of the Syrian border town of Zabadani.
Syria's official SANA news agency said Tuesday that the allied forces managed to retake the Sahl Zabadani region, which is located around 45 kilometers north of the capital Damascus.
A statement by the Syrian army said the allied forces are now in full control of Zabadani's southern entrances as well as a road leading to Lake Barada.
A highly strategic region along Syria's border with Lebanon, Sahl Zabadani is also home to lakes and basins which supply water to the urban population in the Syrian capital.
For more than ten days, the Takfiri terrorist groups had disrupted the flow of Barada's water to more than six million people in Damascus in a bid to stop the advance of Hezbollah and Syrian forces in Sahl Zabadani.
The SANA report said that Syrian fighter jets managed to completely destroy a number of militants' hideouts, killing scores of them, including six chief members of the Nusra Front terrorist group.
Heavy clashes, however, are still continuing between Hezbollah fighters and militants south of Zabadani while members of the Lebanese group advance toward the Saylan neighborhood further to the center of the city.
Late on Monday, Hezbollah fighters and Syrian troops seized control of Darb Kalassah and Darb Hasbah on the outskirts of Zabadani, killing scores of terrorists and capturing tens of others.
Over the past two weeks, the Syrian army and Hezbollah have managed to liberate some strategic locations inside Zabadani and the operation continues to clear the militants from the central parts of the city.
Meanwhile, earlier reports on Tuesday said that Hezbollah is mobilizing its fighters near the Qalamoun town of Serghaya, which is located southwest of Syria and north of Zabadani, in a bid to expand its control to other parts of the mountainous region.
Elsewhere, in Syria's northwest, reports said that al-Qaeda-linked militants sought to make up for their defeats in Zabadani by tightening their siege on two government-controlled villages in the area.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday that Nusra militants fired hundreds of rockets and mortar shells into Fuaa and Kafraya villages in Idlib Province.
No immediate reports were available on whether those killed were government forces or civilians. However, sources said that Syrian troops still control the two strategic villages, the only remaining outposts for government forces in Idlib.
The Britain-based group, which is affiliated to Syria's foreign-backed opposition, said fighting still continues around the villages with Syrian fighter jets targeting positions of Nusra front militants.
This as people in the Syrian capital Damascus staged a demonstration volunteering to go to Fuaa and Kafraya for fighting the terrorists.
Fighters of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah also contributed to the anti-terrorist operation in the area. The militants issued a statement recently saying they are targeting the villages in retaliation for Syria and Hezbollah's ongoing offensive in Zabadani.
Since March 2001, Syria has been grappling with a militancy sponsored by foreign governments including Turkey, the United States and some regional Arab allies. The crisis has left nearly 230,000 people killed.
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