Back by Hezbollah fighters, the Syrian military retook strategically important areas in the Qalamoun mountains along the Lebanon border, sites they’d lost earlier this week to an al-Qaeda offensive.
Buoyed by victories in the northwest, al-Qaeda led a rebel offensive into the mountain range earlier this week, with thousands of rebel troops quickly overrunning a number of military posts, as well as key Hezbollah bases.
The losses in Qalamoun were seen as a major blow to the Assad government, as well as to Hezbollah, and the two appear to have organized this particularly quick counteroffensive to try to stem the talk of them losing the war outright.
Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah had promised such a counteroffensive only yesterday. Al-Qaeda has been keen to have sites of ingress into Lebanon to target Hezbollah interests there, and the mountains were one of the first major power bases for the rebellion years ago, though they’d long since been retaken.