Assad forces, Hezbollah launch major assault on Lebanon border city

The former popular resort city of Zabadani is one of the rebels' last strongholds along the border.

July 4, 2015 14:07
1 minute read.
A Shi'ite cleric wearing military uniform with Hezbollah members.

A Shi'ite cleric wearing military uniform with Hezbollah members.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

BEIRUT - The Syrian army and its allied militia launched a major assault on the rebel-held Syrian city of Zabadani on Saturday, Lebanese group Hezbollah's television station said.

It said heavy artillery and aerial bombardment were being deployed to capture Zabadani, located north-west of the Syrian capital near the frontier with Lebanon. Footage released on the channel showed large plumes of fire rising from the city.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The Syrian army, with its Shi'ite ally Hezbollah, has long sought to wrest control of Zabadani from Sunni militants. The city is close to the Beirut-Damascus highway that links the two countries and capturing it would be a major strategic gain for Syrian President Bashar al Assad's government.

The former popular resort city is one of the rebels' last strongholds along the border. It was part of a major supply route for weapons sent by Syria to Hezbollah before the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011.

Violence from the four-year civil war has regularly spilled over into Lebanon.

The Syrian military and pro-government fighters have regularly clashed with insurgents in the mountainous area north of the capital. The rebel groups in the area include al-Qaida's Syrian wing, the Nusra Front.

Iranian-backed Hezbollah has stepped up its assault on rebel outposts along the Qalamoun mountain region straddling the Lebanese Syrian border in recent months.

An announcement of the start of a major military campaign by the Syrian army and the Lebanese group to capture Zabadani had been expected in recent days.

The rebels say they have planted mines around the city, which is mostly deserted, and are well prepared to repel the assault.

The Syrian army is fighting on several other fronts; as well as battling rebels around the southern city of Deraa and the northern city of Aleppo, it has been fighting Islamic State as the militant group attempts to seize government-held areas of the northeastern city of Hasaka.

Related Content

A general view shows the town of Khorog, Tajikistan
August 16, 2018
Young couple trying to prove human kindness killed by ISIS