Hezbollah and the Syrian Army Enter Downtown Al-Zabadani Before Ceasefire Implementation
The Syrian Arab Army’s 42nd and 63rd Brigades of the 4th Mechanized Division – in coordination with Hezbollah, the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA), the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), and the National Defense Forces (NDF) – advanced into Al-Zabadani’s downtown area after 70 days of fighting with the Islamist rebels of Harakast Ahrar Al-Sham, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra.”
On Saturday morning, the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance broke-through Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’s frontline defenses at the Al-‘Ara’at District, capturing three street blocks from the Islamist rebel fighters before the clashes dissipated around 8:30 P.M. (Damascus Time) on Sunday.
The entry into the Al-‘Ara’at District of Al-Zabadani was a direct result of the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance capturing the strategic Al-Nabua District from the Islamist rebel fighters of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra after three straight days of non-stop fighting in the downtown area.
Following the successful entry into the Al-‘Ara’at District, the Syrian Armed Forces/Lebanese Resistance entered into a 48 hour ceasefire agreement with the Islamist rebels of Harakast Ahrar Al-Sham; this ceasefire would be implemented in the predominately Shia towns of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya, along with the rebel-controlled cities of Madaya and Al-Zabadani.
Rumors surfaced on Sunday that the ceasefire agreement had been violated by both sides; however, a military source in Damascus denied these rumors and confirmed its implementation.