Activists say 30 Hezbollah fighters, Syrians killed

Different accounts from opposition, state media of outcome of battle on Lebanon border; Observatory: 48 rebels killed in fight.

By REUTERS
May 20, 2013 12:56
2 minute read.
Man stands in rubble in Deir al-Zor, May 19, 2013.

Man stands in rubble in Deir al-Zor 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi)

 
X

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

AMMAN - About 30 fighters from the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and 20 Syrian soldiers and militiamen loyal to President Bashar Assad were killed in heavy fighting with rebels in the town of Qusair, Syrian activists said on Monday.

Opposition sources and state media gave sharply differing accounts of the outcome of Sunday's ferocious battles in the town, long used by rebels as a supply route from the nearby Lebanese border to the provincial capital Homs.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The assault on Qusair appeared to be part of a campaign by Assad's forces to consolidate their grip on Damascus and secure links between the capital and the government strongholds on the coast via the contested central city of Homs.

State news agency SANA said the army had "restored security and stability to most Qusair neighborhoods" and was "chasing the remnants of the terrorists in the northern district".

Click for full JPost coverage

However, opposition activists said rebels in Qusair, about 10 km (six miles) from the Lebanese border, had pushed back most of the attacking forces to their original positions in the east of the town and to the south on Sunday, destroying at least four Syrian army tanks and five light Hezbollah vehicles.

The activists did not give a figure for the number of rebel fighters and civilians killed in the clashes. The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 48 rebels had been killed, as well as four civilians, three of them women.



The Observatory's director, Rahim Abdurahman, put Hezbollah casualties at 23 dead and 70 wounded. Lebanese security sources said at least 12 Hezbollah fighters had been killed.

Tareq Murei, a local activist, said troops backed by Hezbollah had "made incursions into Qusair but they are now basically back to where they started at the security compounds in east Qusair and at a ... roadblock to the south."

"Hezbollah's multiple rocket-launchers are now hitting Qusair from Syrian territory west of the Orontes river, along with Syrian army artillery. Six people have been killed since the morning," he told Reuters on Monday.

Video footage purportedly showed a Syrian tank at a street corner in the town on fire. In another video a warplane was shown flying over the town amid the sound of explosions.

Syrian government restrictions on access for independent media make it hard to verify such videos and accounts.

Related Content

August 15, 2018
Nasrallah: We're stronger than the IDF, will soon be victorious in Syria

By JULIANE HELMHOLD