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Photo taken from inside Zabadani shows the damage caused by Syrian army and Hezbollah's shelling of the city. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

Hezbollah, Syrian army storm Zabadani

The Levant News — BEIRUT: Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV announced Sunday that the group’s fighters along with the Syrian army entered Zabadani, capturing an area west of the strategic Syrian Qalamoun town.

The news comes after the allied forces had attacked the town, held by Syrian rebels, with mortars, rockets and barrel bombs.

“The Syrian army and the resistance’s mujahideen have etered the city of Zabadani from the western side and taken over al-Jamiyat area west of the town,” Al-Manar’s report said.

The station had only started covering the events Saturday, although security sources and eye witnesses had revealed that the offensive was launched Thursday.

A source close to Hezbollah had told The Daily Star that two party fighters were killed in the clashes with rebels as they advanced on the town, situated just 8 kilometers from Lebanon’s eastern border.

Al-Manar had reported Saturday that the allied forces blocked the main road north of Zabadani to isolate the area from the Qalamoun towns of Serghaya and Ain Hawr.

The forces also captured a neighboring position identified as Qalaat al-Tal or Qalaat al-Koko, located west of Zabadani, according to the channel.

Zabadani bears strategic significance for Hezbollah since it once served as a logistical hub for supplying Hezbollah with Iranian weapons. It also served as a base for party fighters and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

The capture of the town would add to Hezbollah’s major field victories, which saw the party take large swathes of Qalamoun hills since their offensive, backed by the Syrian army, began in the region last May.
Source: The Daily Star

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