Al-Qaeda Joins Other Syrian Rebels Amid Offensive Near Lebanon Border

Army Aims to Oust Rebels From Key Town of Yabroud

Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has split more or less with every other rebel faction inside Syria, but they are united with the others today along the Syria-Lebanon frontier, where a new Syrian Army offensive has the rebels uniting to try to keep a key weapons smuggling zone open.

Syrian forces have been advancing on the town of Yabroud, the last of the rebels’ major strongholds near Lebanon. The troops recently took the village of Sahel, and are backed by Hezbollah fighters.

The supply routes from Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley into Syria have been a thorn in the Syrian military’s side for quite some time, and now seems to be on the brink of severing those routes with the retaking of Yabroud.

Significant fighting has already been reported on the outskirts of Yabroud, and rebels reported some barrel bombs dropped in the area. The Syrian commander of the offensive said morale was high and they believe it is only a matter of time until they retake the town.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.