THE BATTLE OF THE MOUNT:
6 July 2015
Zabadani, not far from Bloudan, is located on the eastern slopes of Mount Hermon, not at all far from the Israeli-occupied Golan. It was only a question of time before the SAA and Hezbollah put a major thrust on that area to recapture it from the militants who basically managed to occupy it aided by porous borders with Jordan, logistic support from Israel, as well as the ability to capitalize on the vulnerable political Lebanese fabric and which allowed the terrorists to turn the Arsal region into a terror hotspot.
Ever since Chairman Nasrallah declared that the terrorists were to be expelled from the Lebanese-Syrian borders, developments on the ground have revealed a flexible strategy. Unlike conventional armies with heavy hardware, Hezbollah has the logistic advantage that enables it to make swift movements. Accordingly, the major military thrust has been shifting as the battle demanded. From Tal Moussa, to the hills of Jarajir, to Ras Baalbeck and all of the other regions and steps in between.
And after the abysmal failure of the terrorists’ operation dubbed South Storm and the ability of the SAA to fend off the attacks on the region bound between Souweida and Daraa, among other developments, Zabadani became the southern route of escape for terrorists fleeing the southern Qalamoun onto Daraa.
But there are two catches. King Abdullah does not want them into Jordan. There has even been some leaked news that some Jordanian army officers have passed on sensitive intelligence to the SAA about the locations of some Al-Nusra bases in the Daraa region.
Apart from its strategic importance as a lifeline route for the terrorist, the whole region is very strategic because of its high elevation, closeness to Damascus, and (once again) high proximity to the Israeli-occupied Golan.
Strategically and geopolitically, the biggest pressure is now being put on Israel, and this is perhaps what is least spoken about.
Ever since the “War On Syria” started, Israel has been given logistic support to the terrorists and it is not a secret that the wounded of Al-Nusra and other groups go to Israel for hospitalization. Israel has also been involved in training and equipping terrorist groups in Jordan.
Furthermore, Israel has been pushing the nerves and patience of the Syrian Government with its occasional air raids that had little objective and gain apart from flexing muscle and attempting to intimidate President Assad, and perhaps coerce him to show his defence capabilities in the event of a conventional war.
President Assad didn’t take the bait. Instead, he kept his cool and resolve, but a keen observation of the recent developments are now indicative that Israel has really only one of two options; 1) to sit back and watch its terrorist allies getting decimated and accepting that they be replaced by regular emboldened SAA soldiers and Hezbollah fighters, or 2) to walk the talk and have an all-out direct military confrontation with either the SAA alone, Hezbollah alone, or both.
The manner in which SAA troops and Hezbollah fighters are moving and maneuvering virtually a walking distance away from Israeli troops and possibly in full view, is one that no doubt the Israelis are taking very seriously and are at loss not knowing how and where to respond.
The war of liberation has definitely taken a new turn. The message the SAA and Hezbollah are giving Israel is loud and clear. We are cleaning up and if you want to poke your nose in, we are ready.