Syrian army, Hezbollah advance against Daesh in western Qalamoun

Syrian army soldiers and fighters from the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement have retaken several areas from Daesh Takfiri militants in the strategic and mountainous region of Qalamoun close to the border with Lebanon.

Hezbollah’s media bureau said in a statement on Wednesday that Syrian troopers and their allies had taken control over Shaaba al-Bahsa Heights on the outskirts of al-Jarajir village in Syria’s southwestern province of Rif Dimashq.

The statement added that the forces had also recaptured Qaba Ismail and Shaaba Harfoush hilltops near Bureij village in central Syria.

On August 19, Hezbollah and the Syrian army launched an operation to purge Daesh from Qalamoun, located about 330 kilometers (205 miles) north of the Syrian capital Damascus.

Hezbollah launched a major push on July 21 to clear both sides of Lebanon’s border with Syria of “armed terrorists.”

In August 2014, the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and Daesh terrorist groups overran Arsal, killing a number of Lebanese forces. They took 30 soldiers hostage, most of whom have been released.

Since then, Hezbollah and the Lebanese military have been defending Lebanon on the country’s northeastern frontier against foreign-backed terrorist groups from neighboring Syria.

Hezbollah fighters have fended off several Daesh attacks inside Lebanon. They have also been providing assistance to Syrian army forces to counter the ongoing foreign-sponsored militancy.

The movement has accused Israel of supporting Takfiri terrorists operating in the Middle East.

Israel, which continues to occupy Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms and Syria’s Golan Heights, is widely reported to be offering medical help to Takfiri terrorists injured in Syria. In December 2015, British newspaper the Daily Mail said Israel had saved the lives of more than 2,000 Takfiri militants since 2013.