Hezbollah backs Assad in battle for Qalamoun

Hezbollah fighters hold their party flags, as they parade during a rally to mark the 13th day of Ashoura in the southern market town of Nabatiyeh, Lebanon. File photo

ARA News

Damascus, Syria – Pro-Assad army forces supported by members of the National Defense are trying to storm the town of Hafir al-Foqa in Damascus to put pressure on opposition groups and force them to withdraw to the northern parts of Qalamoun Heights, local media activists reported on Monday.

The National Defense force attempted to enter the town of Hafir al-Foqa in conjunction with artillery shelling on the town, without making a remarkable progress. 

Activists from Qalamoun reported that the goal of attacking the town is to force the armed opposition to withdraw towards the northern areas of Qalamoun. 

Speaking to ARA News in Damascus, media activist Abu Ahmed Kalamouni pointed out that a mass displacement hit the town under artillery fire by regime forces.

“Several civilians were hardly injured, including children,” Kalamouni reported.

According to pro-opposition local media, the rebels of Hafir al-Foqa town caused dozens of casualties in the ranks of the pro-Assad National Defense forces, including leading members.

On Sunday, the pro-Assad Lebanese Hezbollah militia announced its control over the border crossing of Fulaita at the Lebanese-Syrian border, which is considered a vital passage for opposition fighters. 

Lebanese sources reported that the opposition fighters backed by al-Nusra Front are in control of “only 20% of the ground” near the Syrian border, and their presence is confined to Jurud Arsal city.

Syrian activists confirmed that the connection between Jurud Arsal and Jurud Fulaita made the Nusra Front (Syria’s branch of al-Qaeda) stranded in Qalamoun’s north.

About the battles in Jurud Arsal and Fulaita, media activist Qazi Hussein told ARA News: “There seems to be a clear plan for Syrian regime army and Hezbollah forces to decisively end the battle of Qalamoun in an attempt to control the entire border line with Lebanon, which explains why Hezbollah strives to continue fighting at this front.”  

Hussein said that such a large mobilization by the regime forces and Hezbollah militants cannot be easily repelled. “If pro-Assad forces continue their shelling, opposition fighter will most likely lose the battle for Qalamoun.”


Reporting by: Adel Hassan

Source: ARA News

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