Heavy clashes between Syrian opposition alliance and ISIS began on Monday morning after Syria’s Al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front attacked Al-zamrani, an unofficial Syria-Lebanon crossing point which is under ISIS control, according to al-Jazeera.
Nusra Front and its alliance of Syrian opposition groups, the Fatah Army, attacked the border crossing of Al-Zamrani in an attempt to end the presence of ISIS in Qalamoun, the group stated on social media.
Fatah Army, which comprises Nusra Front along with other 20 opposition groups - chiefly Ahrar Al-Sham and Levant Front - said ISIS is obstructing the battle against Syrian regime and Hezbollah in Qalamoun, Al-Jazeera reported.
This battle came a week after Nusra Front captured around 50 ISIS' fighters, including three leaders, according to an announcement made by the group on their Twitter account.
Qalamoun, which is on the Syrian Lebanese border, has a strategic position on the Damascus - Homs highway. From May 4 it has reportedly witnessed confrontations between the Syrian Army allied by Hezbollah militias, and the Syrian opposition alliance Fatah Army.
Iran considers Qalamoun a ‘Victory’
Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser to Iran’s Ali Khamenei, said Monday - during his one-day visit to Beirut after meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri - that “We feel very proud as we have been watching in the last few days the new victories that the Lebanese resistance and Syrian army are achieving in Qalamoun.”
He added, “the achievements of the Syrian army and Hezbollah in the Qalamoun battle help empower the axis of resistance."
Akbar’s statement came after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah announced his militia’s victory in Syria’s Qalamoun on Saturday in a televised news broadcast on the Hezbollah owned Al Manar TV channel.
“Hezbollah got the upper hand in its latest battle, in the Qalamoun mountains adjacent to Lebanon's border with Syria,” said Nasrallah.
Proxy war in Syria
A former deputy head of the CIA, Michael Morell, said on Saturday - speaking to the Voice of America - that the conflict in Syria is the most complex policy problem of recent decades.
“Syria is the hardest policy problem I’ve ever see,” he said.
He described the war in Syria as a “proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia,” and a war between “Syrian President Bashar Assad, and ISIS and Al-Qaeda.”