The Al-Qaeda-affiliated group the Nusra Front, along with the Free Syrian Army, have made rapid advances in the Qalamoun region, inflicting humiliating defeats on the regime army and Hezbollah militia during the last two days, with the death toll having risen to dozens.
Activists said rebels have taken control of regime bastions in Assal al-Ward, the strategic town on the Syrian-Lebanese border, and taken one Hezbollah militant captive, sources told Zaman al-Wasl.
In the last 24 hours after the Brital mountains attack, the Nusra Front published a video showing the various stages of a military operation that targeted a Hezbollah position outside Brital, not far from the city of Baalbek, the Lebanese website NOW reported.
On 5 October, clashes broke out on the Bekaa side of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range, and involved at least four positions. This time, the clashes were relatively distant from Arsal. The fighters came from Syria’s Assal al-Ward area, crossed the porous border and penetrated several kilometers into Lebanese territory before setting up artillery. Their foot soldiers then proceeded to infiltrate a Hezbollah position, supposed to function as a monitoring and early-warning post, where they carried out a classic guerrilla attack. The fighters eventually took control of the position, killed those in it, and then seized the ammunition and withdrew to the mountains once again as the wounded fled, according to NOW.
Hezbollah later announced that eight of its members had been killed; most of them from the Bekaa areas near the scene of the clash, while Nusra said it had killed 11 Hezbollah members and announced the death of one of its own.
The losses to each side are no longer very different, with the former attacker now occupying a defensive position. Salafi fighters have become adept at guerrilla warfare and begun to confront the former master with its own tactics, NOW said.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer