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Al-Zabadani Pocket Becomes Smaller and Smaller: Rebels Isolated from Supply Lines

16 July 2015 18:53

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The Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” – alongside their allies from the Free Syrian Army’ “Al-Zabadani Brigades” and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham – have found themselves in a world of trouble at the resort-city of Al-Zabadani, as the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah continue this full-scale siege on the Syrian-Lebanese border.

Earlier this week, the Syrian Arab Army’s 63rd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah captured the southern district of Al-Zabadani, cutting off the Islamist rebel forces from their main supply line to the town of Madaya to the south.

As a result of this loss, Jabhat Al-Nusra, Liwaa Al-Zabadani, and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham fighters have become isolated from their comrades, while also being deprived of a necessary escape route to the nearby towns; this has forced the Islamist rebel forces to either surrender or continue to fight this uphill battle against the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah.

On Wednesday, the situation only became worse: Hezbollah and the Syrian Armed Forces imposed control over a dozen buildings inside Al-Zabadani, including the Abu Al-Zayd Villa that is located along Jamal ‘Abdel-Nasser Street in the east district..

With their main tunnel to the town of Madaya destroyed, the Islamist rebel forces attempted to counter Hezbollah in the south district of Al-Zabadani; however, the assault was foiled after a brief thirty minute firefight along the axis of Al-Sultani Street.

Furthering the Syrian Armed Forces progress, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) pounded Jabhat Al-Nusra, Liwaa Al-Zabadani, and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham near the downtown buildings in Al-Zabadani; this paved the way for the Syrian Armed Forces to advance another 60 meters toward the city-center.

In Madaya, as many as a dozen Jabhat Al-Nusra fighters reportedly surrendered to the Syrian security forces after a brief firefight; this has not been officially announced by the Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command.

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