Hezbollah, Syria gov't forces push for advance in Qusair

May 25, 2013 15:37

BEIRUT - Syrian government forces and the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah launched a fierce campaign to seize more rebel territory in the border town of Qusair on Saturday, sources on both sides of the conflict said.

Rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad said additional tanks and artillery had been deployed around opposition-held territory in Qusair, a Syrian town close to the Lebanese border.

"I've never seen a day like this since the battle started," said Malek Ammar, an activist speaking from the town by Skype. "The shelling is so violent and heavy. It's like they're trying to destroy the city house by house."

Rebels are largely surrounded in Qusair, a town of 30,000 that has become a strategic battleground. Assad's forces want to take the area to secure a route between the capital Damascus and his stronghold on the Mediterranean coast, effectively dividing rebel-held territories in the north and south.

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