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Hezbollah advances east of Arsal toward Syria’s Qalamoun

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows a general view of the countryside of Arsal from the Hezbollah controlled area of Dahr al-Hawa hill on the Lebanese side of the Qalamun mountains. © AFP

Fighters of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah have managed to seize control of several strategic crossings in the border area between Lebanon and Syria, forcing the militants of the Nusra Front terrorist group to retreat from their positions.

Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV reported Monday that fighters of the group made advances inside the territory east of the Lebanese border town of Arsal, retaking crossings that connect the outskirts of the town to the Syrian border town of Flita.

The report, however, did not specify the exact number of crossings recaptured by Hezbollah forces. Other reports said that resistance fighters took control of Harf al-Daboul heights, south east of Arsal. The recapture of the strategic heights came after fierce clashes between Hezbollah fighters and Nusra militants which left scores of terrorists dead.

Further advances by Hezbollah fighters saw them retake Hessn and Wadi al-Khayl hilltops in the same area, forcing militants to retreat into a camp of Syrian refugees near Arsal. Hezbollah also captured the Qennat al-Tannour heights after killing several militants there.

The gains were concurrent with Hezbollah’s ongoing advance in Qalamoun, west of the Syrian territory, where the group, assisted by Syrian army, is pushing back the terrorists from their last hideouts in the mountainous region.

According to a report by Syria’s al-Ikhbariya TV, Syrian forces and Hezbollah fighters seized control of the al-Hamra al-Qasir border crossing in Qalamoun on Monday, further facilitating the movement of allied forces between Flita and Arsal.

Nusra commander flees

During their offensive on Wadi al-Khayl on the outskirts of Arsal, Hezbollah fighters reportedly found the hideout of Abu Malik al-Talli, a notorious commander of Nusra who had been forced to escape to the hilltop after being chased by allied forces in Qalamoun. Talli again fled the Lebanese forces. 

Abu Malik al-Talli, a notorious commander of the Nusra Front Takfiri group, has reportedly escaped Qalamoun mountains as Hezbollah and Syria keep chasing militants in the area. (al-Akhbar photo)

 

With the new victories in Qalamoun and Arsal, the clock has begun ticking for Nusra terrorists on the Lebanese-Syrian border as they are now further pushed into areas under the control of the Takfiri ISIL militants in the region.

The joint forces of Hezbollah and the Syrian army have retaken hundreds of kilometers of territory from militants in their month-long battle in Qalamoun, making the full liberation of the mountainous region even more likely.

Hezbollah has managed to kill hundreds of Nusra militants, including some of their notorious commanders. The resistance group has also destroyed many militant hideouts, factories they used for making booby-trapped cars and their arms depots.

MS/NN/HMV


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