Syrian army, Hezbollah seize eastern part of Qalamoun Mountains from militants

Published May 7th, 2015 - 09:25 GMT
Militants linked to Nusra Front have been hiding in the Qalamoun Mountains. (AFP/File)
Militants linked to Nusra Front have been hiding in the Qalamoun Mountains. (AFP/File)

The Syrian army and Hezbollah Thursday seized control over a rugged area in the eastern part of Syria's Qalamoun on the border with Lebanon after clashes that killed dozens of jihadis, Al-Manar TV said.

According to Al-Manar, the Syrian army and Hezbollah fighters regained the “entire area” of Assal al-Ward and Jibba in eastern Qalamoun after they lost them to the militants in previous battles.

Al-Manar also said dozens of Islamist militants were killed and wounded in the attack launched Thursday morning.

According to the station, the Syrian army targeted “armed groups” in the villages of Assal al-Ward and Jibba in the eastern part of Syria's Qalamoun region, some 35 kilometers from the northeastern border town of Arsal.

Sources following up on the Qalamoun hostilities, told The Daily Star that militants overnight clashed with Hezbollah-backed Syrian troops along several combat zones, including the Assal Al-Ward-Jibba front.

According to the sources, Syrian warplanes carried out a series of air raids on militant positions in Qalamoun, killing and wounding dozens of jihadi fighters.

A Hezbollah attack in the Syrian Qalamoun border region killed three Islamist commanders Wednesday, also according to the Hezbollah channel.

Al-Manar wrote on its Twitter account that the Nusra Front commander in the town of al-Juba, the leader of as-Suqur al-Muhammadiyya Brigade and the commander of the Ras al-Maarra Operation were all killed in a mortar attack.

The report said Hezbollah targeted "a gathering of militant commanders and military vehicles."

Wednesday's attack comes one day after a Hezbollah ambush on a Nusra convoy which killed at least 15 fighters on the outskirts of the Lebanese border enclave of Tfail, a security source told The Daily Star.

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