Syria, Hezbollah retake key neighborhood in Zabadani
Syrian armed forces and fighters of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah have retaken a key residential area in the southwestern town of Zabadani.
Lebanese sources said Tuesday that the allied forces have taken full control of Hay al-Sultani neighborhood south of Zabadani, capturing the main entrance to the border city.
Scores of militants were reportedly killed in the fighting which culminated late Monday.
The main road connecting Zabadani to the neighboring mountain town of Madhaya is now under control of the allied forces.
Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV also aired footage Monday, showing destruction of an explosive-laden house owned by the Takfiri militants. It also showed Hezbollah forces advancing in an unknown area in the city, firing rocket-propelled grenades on positions of the militants.
Other images showed that Zabadani’s al-Huda Mosque is completely intact despite rumors of Hezbollah forces’ destruction of the religious site.
Another report by Syria’s official SANA news agency said Tuesday that five terrorists were killed in an attack by the Syrian forces on a road in Zabadani’s al-Hosba area while some major hideouts of the militants in the central Silan neighborhood were also destroyed.
At least 12 Hezbollah fighters and 16 Syrian troops have reportedly been killed in the two-week-long battle on Zabadani, a strategic border town located 50 kilometers northwest of the Syrian capital, Damascus.
The offensive is part of a wider operation launched by Syria and Hezbollah since May 4, which has reportedly driven militants out of more than 90 percent of the territory previously controlled by them in the mountainous Qalamoun region.
The highly strategic area, which straddles the Lebanese-Syrian border, was previously used by the al-Nusra Front militants for transferring weapons and ammunition into Syria, where they have been involved in terrorist activities.