09:21 GMT24 January 2021
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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)
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    The Syrian Army assisted by Hezbollah fighters cleared two key hilltops on the border between Syria and Lebanon as part of a major campaign to rid the 60-mile area of Qalamoun of extremists, FNA reported.

    A checkpoint on the Syrina border with Lebanon near Qalamoun, Syria
    © Sputnik / Mohammad Alaeddin
    One of the hilltops, known as Jreijeer, served as the local Islamic State stronghold, while the other one, Shamisa al-Hosan, linked Jreijeer to the al-Flita hilltop.

    Qalamoun has seen fierce fighting between the government forces and the fighters from the Lebanon-based Shiite movement on one side and Sunni militants, fighting to dislodge Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, on the other.

    Al-Nusra, an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Syria, as Islamic State need control over the area to secure routes into Lebanon they could then use to restore supplies, including weapons and fighters, or infiltrate the country.

    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)


    Frenemy in Need: Al-Nusra Turns to Islamic State in Face of Syrian Pressure
    Daesh, Islamist militants, extremists, Al-Nusra Front, Qalamoun, Syria
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