The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah have secured two imperative hills on the eastern slopes of Al-Zabadani after fierce clashes with the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” (Victory Front) on Sunday.
According to a military source in western Syria, the SAA and Hezbollah fought off an attack by Jabhat Al-Nusra at the hills of Tal Al-Saroukha (Rocket Hill)and Tal Al-Hawa (Windy Hill), killing a total of seven militants, while suffering two casualties of their own (1 soldier killed and 1 wounded).
A group of Liwaa Suqour Al-Zabadani fighters were confronted by the National Defense Forces (NDF) during their attempted exit from Al-Zabadani – the militants refused to surrender to the NDF; this resulted in a violent engagement that concluded with twelve Jabhat Al-Nusra fighters killed.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has joined the battle in Al-Zabadani, as more and more of their fighters sneak into Syria from the Lebanese border.
ISIS flags (Tawheed flag) were reportedly found among the possessions of the dead militants near the village of Al-Madaya to the south; it was the first time the SAA has seen any semblance of ISIS paraphernalia in this area of the Rif Dimashq Governorate.