Syria, Hezbollah advance further in Qalamoun border region
Syrian army forces and Lebanon’s resistance group Hezbollah have made fresh gains in the battle against Takfiri militants in Qalamoun border region, raising hopes for the full liberation of the strategic area.
The Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese television station, al-Manar TV, reported Saturday that Hezbollah fighters, backed by Syrian forces, have liberated two new hills north and south of Tallit Moussa, a strategic hilltop that was liberated on Wednesday.
“Syrian army and the resistance [forces] took control of the northern and southern hills near Tallit Moussa hilltop and engaged in fierce clashes [with militants] on Salajah Qamou hilltop known as Jabal Salajah south of Jord Flita in Qalamoun,” al-Manar said in a short statement.
A later report by the Arabic TV said Hezbollah fighters have also attacked a gathering of Nusra Front militants in Jord Flita, killing scores of them, including a major commander of the terrorist group, who was identified as Abu Alaya.
Earlier in the day, Hezbollah forces also managed to detonate a car bomb laden with “more than 500 kg of highly explosive material” in Fatleh crossing, an area located in Jabal al-Barouh region which was entirely recaptured on Friday.
The Saturday advancement gives Hezbollah an almost 90-percent of control of Qalamoun, an area straddling the Lebanese-Syrian border.
Before the most recent Syria-Hezbollah joint operations since nearly two weeks ago, Nusra Front militants had been using Qalamoun mountainous region for transferring weapons and reinforcements from Lebanon into Syria, where they have been engaged in terrorism operations against the government.
If Hezbollah and Syrian forces win the ongoing battle in Flita’s outskirts, they would be able to connect the area to the outskirts Ras al-Maara, which was also liberated on Friday.