World Bulletin / News Desk
Lebanon's Hezbollah and the Syrian army made big advances against insurgents in the region north of Damascus on Wednesday, Hezbollah and Syrian state media said, shoring up President Bashar al-Assad's grip on a crucial border zone.
The gains in the mountainous Qalamoun region against groups including the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front come at a time when Assad has suffered significant defeats elsewhere, notably in Syria's northwest.
Hezbollah has been a crucial ally for Assad in the four-year-long war that has become a focal point for the struggle between Tehran and Saudi Arabia that has backed the insurgency.
Hezbollah fighters and the army seized Talat Moussa, the highest peak in the border area, the group's al-Manar TV and sources briefed on the situation said, securing control of the area.
Syrian state TV credited the advance to the army and "the Lebanese resistance", an unusual public acknowledgement of Hezbollah's role in the battle for an area used by the insurgents to ferry supplies betweenSyria and Lebanon.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group that tracks the conflict, has reported that the intensity of Hezbollah's bombardment had forced many of the insurgents to withdraw.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Mayıs 2015, 16:05