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Hezbollah strike Qalamoun jihadis with help of drone

The Daily Star-- A Hezbollah missile annihilated a group of at least three Islamist militants in Syria's Qalamoun region along the border with Lebanon Wednesday after being spotted by a drone, Al-Manar reported.

“All members of a group of Nusra takfiri [militants] were killed in an ambush by the resistance" between the outskirts of the Lebanese towns of Arsal and Nahleh on the Syrian side of the border, the Hezbollah-run channel said.

It said the jihadi group was planning to carry out a “terrorist attack” from quarries south of Arsal.

But the station later aired drone footage showing missiles striking a militant vehicle and operations room with pinpoint accuracy. The HiDef video showed three militants exiting a white SUV and running toward a nearby operations room.

The video then cuts to show a missile striking the operations room with one militant standing just outside, and the other two believed to be inside. The blast obliterated the structure, sending its roof launching into the air.

It was unclear if other militants were already in the room when it was bombed.

The video also showed the group targeting a black military vehicle. The report did not say if anyone was inside the vehicle when it was targeted.

After the operation, Hezbollah fighter engaged in "fierce clashes" with the jihadis and killed "all of them," Al-Manar said, showing footage of the battle.

The channel said the group belonged to Nusra’s Ghuraba Brigade, adding that a field commander was among those killed.

The report comes one day after a security source revealed that six Hezbollah fighters were killed in Qalamoun as they attempted to take the Tallaja hilltop from Nusra militants earlier this week. The source said they were killed in sniper fire Monday.

But Hezbollah managed to take control of two other hills after clashes that left about 30 jihadis dead.

Al-Manar Tuesday aired a report from the outskirts of the Syrian town of Flita, saying that areas surrounding the town had fallen under the total control of Hezbollah and the Syrian army, exposing routes used by jihadis to gunfire.

Monday’s deaths brought the number of Hezbollah fighters killed in the Qalamoun offensive since it began on May 4 to at least 22. The number of jihadi casualties since the start of the operation is unclear, but is likely to be in the hundreds

Written by The Levant