Hezbollah Joins Syrian Army to Capture Key Rebel Stronghold
The joint offensive is the most significant military engagement by Hezbollah so far in the Syrian civil war. The Iranian-backed militia force from neighbouring Lebanon has played a fringe role since early on in the conflict, but has up until now limited its operations to small skirmishes, focused primarily on towns and villages along the border between Syria and Lebanon.
The offensive to re-capture Qusair began with a heavy bombardment by Syrian warplanes and artillery from both the Syrian army and Hezbollah, who had surrounded the town. This was swiftly followed by a troop advance, which has captures large parts of the town.
The Syrian army is now thought to have taken control of the south and much of the central district of Quasir. One military source told the ACFCP news agency that the Syrian flag is now flying over the municipality building in the centre of the town.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that ”23 members of Hezbollah’s elite forces were killed and more than 70 others wounded in clashes in the town of Qusayr yesterday.”
They added that “If the army manages to take control of Qusayr, the whole province of Homs will fall.” Homs province has seen some of the heaviest fighting of the civil war so far.
Opposition leaders from the SNC called on the Arab League to initiate an emergency meeting to “stop the massacre in Qusair.”
Related Video: Fierce Battle for Qusair
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