Al-Qaeda and ISIL retreat into one another in the Qalamoun Mountains:
In a matter of 45 days, Hezbollah – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Syrian Arab Army’s 20th and 128th Brigades of the 1st Armored Division – have captured over 250 square kilometers in the vast Qalamoun Mountains of western Syria and eastern Lebanon, all the while, combatting the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS).
With the Lebanese Resistance and the Syrian Armed Forces taking control of three imperative border-crossings into Lebanon (Jarajeer, Faleeta, and Ras Al-Marra), Jabhat Al-Nusra has found itself retreating into Jaroud ‘Arsal and Jaroud Qarah, where their former allies from ISIS are currently entrenched along the southwestern border of the Homs Governorate.
Struggling to maintain their frontline positions to the south, Jabhat Al-Nusra – in coordination with their allies from Jaysh Al-Islam (Army of Islam) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) – have begun to back-peddle into ISIS-held territory, resulting in sporadic clashes between the two Jihadist forces at the hills linking Jaroud Qarah and Jaroud ‘Arsal.
As a result of this odd predicament, Al-Qaeda and their allies have attacked ISIS at Jaroud Qarah, capturing Tal Al-Dab’at after fierce clashes with their Jihadist counterparts; this is the first time they have clashed in the Qalamoun Mountains in almost two months.
Adding to the plight of both Jihadist forces (ISIS and Al-Qaeda), they have begun to retreat into the same parcel of territory in the Qalamoun Mountains; this is a result of Hezbollah and the Syrian Armed Forces’ joint offensive that has flanked both terrorist groups in western Syria and eastern Lebanon.