Hezbollah said on Sunday it had killed over 20 fighters from Syria’s Al-Qaeda wing, the Al-Nusra Front, and destroyed several hideouts and training camps the fighters had set up to launch attacks in Lebanon across the border with Syria, Reuters reported.
Hezbollah’s television station, Al-Manar, said the Syrian army and the “resistance”, a reference to Hezbollah, had made “important progress” in their latest assault against Syrian rebels opposed to President Bashar Al-Assad’s rule.
The television station said Iranian-backed Hezbollah and the Syrian army had gained more ground in Assal al-Ward, a strategic area on the Syrian side of the Qalamoun mountain region overlooking Lebanese border towns where Hezbollah has heavy presence.
Three major training camps run by the Al-Nusra Front were destroyed and scores of mines and explosive devices were dismantled, it said.
Last week, rebels in Qalamoun announced the creation of a local branch of the Army of Conquest, a rebel coalition including Al-Nusra, which seized Idlib city in Syria’s northwest on March 28 before going on to capture several additional, strategically-important positions.
Fighters from Hezbollah have fought alongside Syrian army forces in Syria’s civil war. Some Lebanese officials have warned Hezbollah against launching a cross-border assault, saying it could drag Lebanon further into the Syrian conflict.
Violence from Syria’s three-year civil war has indeed spilled over to Lebanon, with bombings in Beirut, fighting in Tripoli, and rocket attacks on Bekaa Valley towns close to the frontier.
Many of the attacks have targeted Hezbollah’s strongholds in Lebanon, particularly since the group acknowledged that it is sending fighters into Syria to support Assad’s troops as they battle rebels.