The Syrian armed forces backed by fighters of Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah have gained more ground on the battlefield against Takfiri militants in the strategic border city of Zabadani.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that the Syrian army and allied Hezbollah resistance fighters have managed to liberate 70 to 75 percent of the border city from Takfiri terrorists through aerial and ground attacks.
The army and Hezbollah forces also secured a district in the city center — used by the terrorists as a supply line — and managed to take back buildings used by militants as hideouts.
Syria commenced its full-scale military campaign to take full control over Zabadani in mid-August with military officials saying at the time that the city was technically under the control of the allied forces. A ceasefire was then declared to let the militants surrender, but fighting began 48 hours later with Syrian forces continuing to chase militants inside the city.
Located in Syria’s Rif Dimashq province, the flashpoint city of Zabadani has been a major stronghold of militant groups over the past years. Control over the city would entirely cut off the supply lines used by the terrorists for transferring ammunition and forces into areas near Damascus, while it also secures the highway connecting the Syrian capital to Beirut in Lebanon.
The conflict in Syria has reportedly claimed more than 240,000 lives since March 2011.
The United Nations says the militancy has displaced 7.6 million Syrians internally, and compelled some 4.6 million others to take refuge mostly in neighboring countries.