More than five Hezbollah fighters including a leader were killed on Thursday in southern Syria, opposition groups including the Al Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front claimed. Meanwhile, Hezbollah announced on Thursday that it was launching a campaign on Nusra-held positions in Lebanon’s Arsal.
According to Syrian opposition news website, more than ten Hezbollah fighters were killed since Wednesday in confrontations in the Syrian border town of Qalamoun.
Mainstream Syrian opposition groups such as Ahrar al Sham and the Nusra Front joined together in an alliance in May to form what they called the “Conquest of Qalamoun Army,” in order to capture Qalamoun.
Since then, skirmishes have been frequently reported between the rebels and pro-regime forces supported by Hezbollah fighters.
On Thursday, the pro-Hezbollah Al Akhbar newspaper reported the start of the campaign on Arsal saying Hezbollah had launched a liberation battle for the Arsal Mountains.
This comes a week after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said his party would attack Arsal if the Lebanese Army did not do so.
The town of Arsal straddles the Lebanese-Syrian border, where Nusra fighters are control swathes of territory since they raided the town in August 2014.
On Tuesday, Hezbollah fighters seized three hilltops in Qalamoun, the Hezbollah-run Al Manar TV channel reported.
Last month, Hezbollah fighters alongside the Syrian army attacked Nusra Front positions in Qalamoun and forced them to retreat towards the outskirts of Arsal.