Hizbullah Offensive Expected North of Damascus

(Daily Beast) Jamie Dettmer - Iranian-backed Hizbullah is poised to launch a much-anticipated counterinsurgency offensive to the north of Damascus in the mountainous Al-Qalamoun region between the Syrian capital and Homs, the country's third largest city. The offensive will pit Hizbullah fighters against jihadists and militant Islamists. The al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamist militias Ahrar al-Sham and Liwa al-Islam have been reinforcing towns and villages in the region to prepare for the expected assault. For the regime, consolidating its hold on Homs is a priority. It represents a central link between Syria's interior cities and the seacoast north of Latakia, a stronghold of Assad's Alawite sect.

2013-10-30 00:00:00

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