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Hezbollah and the Syrian Army Closing-in on Mahata Square Inside Downtown Al-Zabadani

Day 36 of the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah offensive at the resort-city of Al-Zabadani has past and more ground has been captured from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra”, leaving the aforementioned Islamist factions with only a small parcel of territory under their control.

On Sunday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 63rd Brigade of the prestigious 4th Mechanized Division – alongside Hezbollah and the National Defense Forces (NDF) – continued their assault along Main Street, where they were able to capture a number of building blocks near the Misraf Al-Tajari en route to the strategic Mahata Roundabout.

In addition to their assault along Main Street, the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah carried out a powerful assault at the Al-Zabadani Bus Station, killing over 15 enemy combatants and capturing 4 others from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Jabhat Al-Nusra, and the Free Syrian Army’s “Al-Zabadani Hawks Brigade.”

The battle for Al-Zabadani is reaching its end and as it concludes after over one month of fighting, the question remains: what is next for Hezbollah and the Syrian Armed Forces?

Well, regardless if Al-Zabadani is captured; it does not mean the whole area has been cleared, as the town of Madaya (south of Al-Zabadani) remains under the control of Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham.

Why has this battle taken so long? Unlike the previous battles at Yabroud and Qusayr, Hezbollah and the Syrian Armed Forces did not leave Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham an outlet to retreat; thus, leaving the Islamist rebels with only two options: surrender or be killed.

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