BEIRUT, July 21 — Almost 70 fighters have been killed in the two-week-old battle between pro-government forces and Islamist rebels for control of Zabadani on Syria’s border with Lebanon, a monitoring group said yesterday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 46 rebels and 21 members of Lebanon’s Shiah militia Hezbollah fighting on the government side have died since pro-regime forces entered the town of Zabadani on July 4.
It did not give a figure for Syrian army losses in and around Zabadani, which lies north of Damascus and in February 2012 became the first town to fall into rebel hands.
According to the Britain-based Observatory, regime aircraft have dropped 600 barrel bombs since the launch of the government offensive to recapture the town.
Regime forces have seized control of a hilltop overlooking the south of Zabadani. — AFP