Fierce clashes erupted at the northeastern border town of Ras Baalbak as ISIS militants attacked on Tuesday, for the first time, Hezbollah positions located nearly 14 km from the town’s residential area.
Hezbollah fighters thwarted the offensive, killing at least 11 ISIS militants, including top commander identified as Walid Abdul Mohsen al-Omari from Saudi Arabia, and leaving others wounded, according to Hezbollah-run TV channel, Al Manar.
ISIS Jihadis launched their attack with the aim to control two strategic hills used by Hezbollah to hunt down militants in the region.
Ras Baalbak is located 7 km to the north of Arsal, a key stronghold for Al-Nusra militants active in both Syria and Lebanon, and now home of other several hundreds who fled the latest battle launched by Hezbollah and the Syrian Army in Qalamoun and its barrens.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese Army carried out two airstrikes in Wadi Rafeq on the outskirts of Ras Baalbak, in conjunction with heavy artillery and rocket attack, deploying further troops along the borderline, namely between Ras Baalbak and Al-Qaa (about 9 km to the northeast).
In their unlucky venture, ISIS suffered heavy losses including, besides the dead and wounded, a number of military vehicles, a bulldozer, a rocket launcher and an artillery battery.
Hezbollah and the Syrian Army are rapidly gaining ground during the one-month battle, with nearly two-thirds of the area is now liberated.