Hezbollah and the Syrian Army Shift Their Focus from Al-Zabadani to Madaya
Almost two months have past since the Syrian Arab Army’s 63rd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah launched their full-scale offensive at the resort-city of Al-Zabadani; and while the aforementioned have captured a great deal of territory from the Islamist rebel forces, they had yet to target the nearby town of Madaya (south of Al-Zabadani).
This changed on Sunday morning, as a substantial number of soldiers from the SAA’s 63rd Brigade, Hezbollah, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), and the National Defense Forces (NDF) stormed the Islamist rebel forces’ defensive positions in southwest Madaya, targeting the latter at the Al-Kazbari Mosque and its surrounding area after almost two months of little activity in this town.
According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance were able impose control over the Al-Kazbari Mosque’s surrounding building blocks, while the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) unleashed a fury of powerful airstrikes inside the rebel-controlled areas of Madaya.
However, the Syrian Air Force did not stop there: on Sunday, the latter conducted over 80 airstrikes in Madaya and Al-Zabadani, destroying a number of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’s military sites and killing a multitude of enemy combatants in the process.
Eight members of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham turned themselves-in to the Syrian security forces on Sunday after the short-lived ceasefire allowed for the opposing parties in Al-Zabadani to correspond with one another, despite the two month long siege that pinned them both against one another in a fierce battle for control of the city.
Currently, the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah control 85 percent of Al-Zabadani and nearly 25 percent of Madaya; if captured, the resistance forces will have eliminated one of the biggest threats on the border of Lebanon.