The Syrian Arab Army’s 63th Brigade of the prestigious 4th Mechanized Division – in coordination with Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces (NDF), and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) – continued their advance in the imperative resort-city of Al-Zabadani, capturing a number a number of sites on Saturday after intense clashes with the Islamist rebel forces.
On Saturday morning, the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance advanced to the ‘Umar Al-Farouq Mosque, where they were confronted by a large contingent of Islamist rebels from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, the Free Syrian Army’s “Al-Zabadani Hawks Brigade”, and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra.”
Following a violent engagement between the two opposing parties, the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance took complete control of the ‘Umar Al-Farouq Mosque and its surrounding residential buildings after fierce firefights that lasted for over three hours, leaving over 15 enemy combatants from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra dead.
In addition to their success at the ‘Umar Al-Farouq Mosque, the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah expanded their control over a number of building blocks at the eastern axis of the Al-Jami’yat Neighborhood, resulting in the withdrawal of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra militants toward the Al-Zabadani city-center.
Despite claims that the city of Al-Zabadani is under the control of the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance, sources in Damascus have asserted that the Islamist rebels are still entrenched inside the city-center and have not given-up.