File - Lebanese fighters, supporters of Hezbollah, carry weapons in the Syrian border town of Zeita, 5 km from the Lebanese northeastern village of al-Qasr, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. (The Daily Star/Rakan al-Fakih)
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Hezbollah and the Syrian Army have hit a wall in their fight to root out opposition forces from the mountainous Qalamoun area just over the Syrian border from Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.Last year, Hezbollah and Syrian army troops easily recaptured much of Qalamoun.The losses sustained in the battle for Qalamoun made the opposition wary of repeating the same mistakes, and so they withdrew from the main towns to the remote areas extending from northern Jousieh toward the outskirts of Zabadani in Reef Damascus.Hezbollah and the Syrian regime launched another offensive more recently to gain control of the Lebanese town of Tfail, cutting off rebels positioned in Zabadani from another set of fighters deployed between Tfail and Arsal.According to Hujeiri, Hezbollah sought to surround the opposition by deploying from the outskirts of Al-Qaa toward Qara. The expert addded that these fighters would continue battling the Syrian army in Qalamoun and could also coordinate attacks inside Lebanon in an attempt to strike Hezbollah at home.Last year, areas associated with Hezbollah such as the southern Beirut suburbs and the northern Bekaa were targeted by suicide bombings claimed by groups linked to the Syrian opposition.
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