Rebels attempt to break Zabadani encirclement

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In a bid to break the regime’s tightening siege of Zabadani at the gateway of the Qalamoun mountains, a joint Nusra and Ahrar a-Sham force captured two regime and Hezbollah positions overlooking the encircled rebel city on Thursday, reported the pro-opposition Qalamoun Foothills Media Desk. The rebel attack, targeting two checkpoints in the mountains east of Zabadani, “resulted in the capture of positions the regime had previously used to shell rebel positions inside the city,” Thair Qalamoun, a Qalmoun-based journalist, told Syria Direct on Thursday. “The rebels killed a number of Hezbollah and regime forces, while capturing a T-72 main battle tank,” he added. The rebel attempt to break the siege of Zabadani comes only one day after reports had claimed the city would fall to the regime within hours.