Regime, rebels continue fighting in Qalamoun
Syria's state television showed alleged footage of government troops, saying they had taken "some hills overlooking the Rankous plain and are pursuing terrorist groups who tried to infiltrate the region from Lebanon."
The strategic area, located on Syria's western border with Lebanon has been a major battleground over the past few months, with the Damascus regime gaining ground in the foothills and some 2,000 rebels forced to retreat to the higher areas of the mountains from where they launch guerilla attacks on the government soldiers.
The state TV report, which refers to all rebel groups as "terrorists," reported that the army has "cut the route off to terrorist groups who try to return to the [Qalamoun foothills] region...this land will be a cemetery for all terrorists who decide to return."
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights head Rami Abdel-Rahman said that "rebels hiding in the heights and in caves have been attacking army and Hezbollah positions for weeks after being pushed out of the region, which also prompted regime forces to withdraw," as reported by AFP. The Observatory also reported that at least fourteen Hezbollah fighters have been killed in the Qalamoun region over the past two weeks.