July 4, 2015 / 10:34 AM / in 3 years

Syrian army tightens siege of rebels in border city of Zabadani: state tv

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian army closed in on Sunni Muslim jihadist rebels inside Zabadani in a major military offensive launched on Saturday to recapture the city near the border with Lebanon, state television said.

A Syrian army source was quoted as saying its forces were “making headway on several fronts” and tightening a siege of the city and had inflicted heavy casualties on rebels defending it.

Iranian backed Lebanese Hezbollah TV station earlier said the Syrian army and its fighters had begun a major aerial bombing campaign with heavy artillery shelling of rebel outposts. It showed footage of plumes of smoke hanging over the city.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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