Bellingcat

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Special Report On Hezbollah's Role In The Yabrud Offensive

A special report by Elijah J Magnier on the Yabrud Offensive, originally published in Arabic here:

High ranking military sources in the Hezbollah and Assad military operations room:
- Advance against Yabrud will be on 6 axes around the city;
- Burkan (Volcano), artillery, tanks, air raids and Special Forces all deployed in the battle of Qalamoun
- Yabrud battle is supposed to end in less than a month at most
- The timing of the start of the attack coincided with the anniversary of the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh

Volcano rockets with Syrian forces in Yabrod [Source]
Hezbollah, supported by Syrian tanks, artillery and air raids, has started this morning a large scale battle advancing toward the city of Yabrud in the Qalamoun, close to the Lebanese-Syrian border.
In fact, the pro-Iranian Hezbollah initiated weeks ago their military operation when thousands of Special Forces were pushed in the area with the following objectives:
  1. Cut the supply line between Lebanon (Arsal) and Syria where rebels have safe heaven.
  2. Protect Damascus and its rif. 
  3. Divide, through future military operations, the North from the South of Syria.
Hezbollah used in this attack self-made Volcano (Burkan) rockets to advance on the ground from Nabak and Deir Atiya re-taking Al-Jarajeer and all the surrounding hills between Lebanon and Syria.  As this article is published, the battle is ongoing in Mazare Rim. The next stop is Fallita before heading toward Yabrud. Hezbollah has learned its lesson in Qusayr: “No more safe exits for rebels” since more than a thousand of them escaped towards Qalamoun. Today, Hezbollah has to fight against those same rebels once more.

A senior leader in the joint operations room, run by Hezbollah and the Syrian regime, said that "the Special Forces started their ground attack on all axes at the crack of dawn. Hezbollah intelligence unit, through meticulous under-cover operation, has gathered detailed information on the number of rebels, where their command centers are, and what is their capability and readiness to fight."

The source said: "After gathering all necessary information, we launched the attack, which coincided with the anniversary of the martyrdom of Hajj Imad Mughnniyeh, Sayyed Abbas Musawi, Sheikh Ragheb Harb and all those who fell by the extremist's car bombs sent to Lebanon. Our message to these: Nahnu Qadimun (We are coming)".

"The battle of Qalamoun will be run differently from the one of Qusayr: Far more intensive fire power to reduce loses and inflict more damage to the rebels. We shall block entry to the city and villages from all access and directions. The advance of the Special Forces (SF) will progress from six different axes to separate the rebel lines and isolate them into smaller groups." explained the source.

He pointed out "Hezbollah SF who have participated in the battle of East Ghota, Idlib and Qusayr have been deployed in the battle with their experience and full equipment, including their special Burkan (Volcano) to open the road."

The source said that, according to their intelligence information, there are "some 200 Lebanese fighters under the banner of the extremist groups, while the rest is divided as follows: One third Saudi, one third from different Gulf countries including Palestinians and one third Syrian, mainly under Jabhat al-Nusra’s command".

According to this high ranking military commander, it is "difficult to predict how long the battle will last, none the less, Yabrud will surely take less time than Qusayr which is no more than two to three weeks".

In relation to the 12 nuns kidnapped by the extremists, the source was aware of the kidnappers request and revealed "the extremists asked to stop the battle against Yabrud and to release 500 extremists from the Rumiyeh jail and from Syria. This is unacceptable since each one of these will return to fight again. We hold the extremists responsible for the safety of the nuns".

No comments:

Post a Comment