Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Syrian army gains ground

Troops loyal to the Syrian regime made advances yesterday on the rebel stronghold town of Qusayr near the border with Lebanon.

BEIRUT // Troops loyal to the Syrian regime made advances yesterday on the rebel stronghold town of Qusayr near the border with Lebanon.

The army, backed by pro-regime militia and Hizbollah fighters from Lebanon, is aiming to crush insurgents in villages surrounding Qusayr, and to then launch an assault on the town, Syrian activists said.

Three new shells launched from the Qusayr area landed in eastern Lebanon, the official National News Agency reported, in what rebels described as retaliation for Hizbollah's involvement in Syria's war and for allegedly firing from across the Lebanese border.

Qusayr has been under rebel control for more than a year. It is strategic because it lays on a route linking Damascus to the coast.

Qusayr-based activist Hadi Al Abdallah said Hizbollah fighters were instrumental to the army's advance.

"The only reason why the regime is advancing in the Qusayr area is because of Hizbollah's troops. Hizbollah fighters advance on the ground, while the (Syrian) air force gives them cover," Mr Al Abdallah said.

The fighting has left dozens of people dead this week.

In another sign of spillover from the war, police in Jordan yesterday arrested eight Syrians on suspicion of inciting riots at a refugee camp near the Jordan-Syria border. About 100 Syrian refugees threw stones at Jordanian police on Friday for preventing some of them from sneaking out of their desert camp. Ten police officers were wounded, including two who remain in critical condition.

* Agence France-Presse, with additional reporting by the Associated Press

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greeted by university students as he leaves Sistan University in Sistan and Baluchestan’s provincial capital of Zahedan on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

In Iran’s most troubled province, Rouhani hears pleas for change

Hassan Rounani aims to connect with residents of far-flung Sistan and Baluchestan province.

 Prince Bandar bin Sultan in Riyadh on March 3, 2007. Hassan Ammar / AFP Photo

Saudi Prince Bandar promised a victory he could not deliver

Saudi Arabia's controversial intelligence chief stepped down this week after rumours that his policies on Syria had fallen out of favour.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen. AFP Photo

The inner workings of Gulen’s ‘parallel state’

Fethullah Gulen's followers are accused of trying to push Turkey's prime minister from power.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National