Muzammal’s third post

image-05

Mountains

Took a bite out of a mountain range, thought my teeth would break the mountain did Lets go I want to go, all the way to the horizon Took a drink out of the ocean and, treading water before I

Image result for Mountain pictures and textdrowned
Lets dive, I want to dive, to the bottom of the ocean
Took a ride, I took a ride, I wouldn’t go there without you
Lets take a ride, we’ll take a ride, I wouldn’t leave here without you

I am the mountain
I am the sea
You can’t take that away from me
I am the mountain
I am the sea
You can’t take that away from me
‘Cause you tear us apart
With all the things you don’t like
You can’t understand, that I won’t leave
‘Til we’re finished here and then you’ll find out
Where it all went wrong

Image result for Mountain pictures and textI wrote a note to the jungle and
They wrote me back that I was never crowned
King of the jungle so, there’s a end to my horizon
Took a ride, I took a ride, I wouldn’t go there without you
Lets take a ride, we’ll take a ride, I wouldn’t leave here without you

I am the mountain
I am the sea

Image result for Mountain pictures and text

You can’t take that away from me

I am the mountain
I am the sea
‘Cause you tear us apart
With all the things you don’t like
You can’t understand, that I won’t leave
‘Til we’re finished here and then you’ll find out
Where it all went wrong

Nothing lasts forever, except you and me

I am the sea
You can’t take that away from me
I am the mountain
I am the sea
I am the mountain
I am the sea.You are my mountain, you are my sea
Love can lasts forever, between you and me
You are my mountain, you are my sea.

Battle of Yabroud

On 14 March, Hezbollah fighters approached Yabroud from the west as a diversion whileBattle of Qalamoun.svg Army troops attacked from the east, with fire support provided to both forces. This left the rebels under heavy bombardment and caught in a pincer.[125] The Army soon reached the eastern outskirts of the city.[126] During this time, Hezbollah commandos conducted a raid in which they killed 13 rebel leaders,[20][127] including the Kuwaiti Al-Nusra Qalamoun deputy commander, Abu Azzam al-Kuwaiti. This left rebel forces in disarray.[127][128] In the meantime, the Army captured Aqaba hill, east of the town. This forced the rebels to retreat towards their rear bases.[129] Government forces started entering Yabroud from the east and advanced along the town’s main street, while rebels were retreating towards Rankous.[129] Fighting was also taking place on the northern edge, between Yabrud and Sahel.[129]

On 15 March, fighting was reportedly still raging at the eastern entrance of the city, with rebels sending reinforcements[128] after they managed to regroup, while Hezbollah fighters were also fighting inside the town itself.[128] Government troops managed to advance “hundreds of meters (yards) inside Yabroud”, according to a military source. 15 air-strikes were conducted against the town during the day.[130] One of the strongest rebel groups was sent to defend Mar Maroun hill, east of the town. However, rebels were soon surprised when the Army captured Mar Maroun without any notable resistance.[17] Thus the Army captured all hills around the town.[128] The lack of resistance raised suspicions that the rebel group in charge of defending the hill made a deal with government forces.[17][131] After this, the Army controlled Yabrud’s eastern approaches and northeastern boundary.[128] Later in the day, government forces had advanced two kilometers inside the town towards a roundabout, according to state TV.[132] The SOHR denied government troops had managed to enter the city and said they were still two kilometers away from it.[133] In the evening, rebel commanders held a meeting during which they decided to abandon Yabrud, with only the Al-Nusra Front deciding to still stay and fight.

On 16 March, Syrian troops, backed by Hezbollah fighters, captured most, if not all, of Yabroud, after entering the eastern part of the town the previous night.[134][135][136] Government forces had secured the town’s main square, the Al-Akhzar Grand Mosque and the town’s Catholic church.[137] Most of the opposition forces withdrew at dawn. 1,000 rebels retreated to the mountainous border area near the Lebanese town of Arsal.[134] Others fled to the nearby towns of Rankous, Flitah and Hosh Arab.[138] A small hardcore group of fighters remained in the town to fight to the death. The fighters were trying to drag Army troops into urban warfare, where they believed they had an advantage. However, by this point, rebel supplies for the town were cut off and weapons that were promised to opposition forces never arrived. As the Army was moving into Yabroud, the Air Force fired four rockets near the barren hills of Arsal, possibly targeting smugglers supplying rebels in the area.[139] In all, the Air Force conducted 20 air strikes during the day between Yabrud and Arsal and on the outskirts of Arsal, after hundreds of rebels poured into the area.[140] By noon, the Al-Nusra fighters had also retreated from the town. Military sources stated 500–1,000 rebels had been killed since the start of the operation to capture Yabrud.[137][141] The rebel’s loss of the town was seen as a symbolic and practical blow for the opposition.[142] Due to the loss of Yabroud, the rebels had no way of supplying their forces in rural Damascus, where government forces were surrounding a series of opposition-held areas, denying them food, power and clean water. According to a security source, the Army’s next targets were going to be Rankous and Flitah.[143] Later during the day, the Syrian Defense Minister, General Fahd Jassem al-Freij, inspected government troops in Yabroud.[144] By the evening, opposition forces completely withdrew from the area and headed towards the surrounding western villages, particularly the plains of the nearby city of Rankus.[145]

During the whole time that the battle was ongoing, the town was being hit by heavy shelling. The ferocity of the artillery strikes could be seen per one incident in which a group of 14 rebels was hit, leaving 12 of them dead and only two survivors.[146]

Third phase – Operations continue

On 17 March, the Lebanese army sent commandos to the border area with Syria, as Syrian rebels continued to flee into Lebanon after the fall of Yabrud.[147] The Lebanese military detained 15 rebels trying to cross into Lebanon in the northern Akkar region of Wadi Khaled.[148] According to a Syrian Army source, 1,400 rebels from the FSA, Ahrar al-Sham and other groups had fled Yabrud in the previous two days, while 1,000 militants from the Al-Nusra Front remained to fight in the town, but they also eventually retreated. During the final fighting for Yabrud, 19 Hezbollah fighters were killed.[149] Government forces shelled Flitah,[150] as they prepared to assault the last rebel-held areas in the Qalamoun mountains, which includes Ras al-Maarra and Flitah, northwest of Yabrud, and Rankus to the south.[127] This would mark the start of the Army’s third phase to capture the whole mountain range.[151] During the evening, a pro-government source reported that government troops had broken through the frontline at Ras al-Maarra.[152]

On 18 March, many unconfirmed claims surfaced from cities in the Qalamoun mountains, claiming a will to negotiate with government forces to spare the numerous cities south of Yabrud, including Maalula, of an Army offensive.[153] Army troops were advancing towards Ras al-Ain, southwest of Yabrud, and captured several hills[154] overlooking the village. Later, it was reported the military and Hezbollah entered Ras al-Ain and were progressing.[155][156] Meanwhile, northwest of Yabrud, the Army entered Ras al-Maarra and captured large parts of it.[157]

On 19 March, the rebel’s central front in the mountains appeared to be collapsing as the Army captured Ras al-Ain, after two days of fighting.[158] The military seized a factory in the village for manufacturing bombs, including car-bombs which bore Lebanese licence plaits.[159] Meanwhile, fierce fighting raged between Army and rebel forces at a checkpoint near Rankus, while government troops were also fighting rebel and jihadist forces around the villages of Bkhaa and Jobeh in the Qalamoun region.[160] Later, fighting also erupted in Rankus itself.[161] Rebel commander Abu Omar Al-Farouq claimed, via the pro-opposition Syria Newsdesk, that “dozens of battalions” were stationed in the hills surrounding Yabrud and were “awaiting orders to move towards the city”, but he admitted that the previous withdrawal from the town resulted in a state of confusion among the rebels and “divided and dispersed their forces”.[162]

On 20 March, a pro-government source claimed that Rankus would fall to the Army in a matter of hours.[163] The next day, the same source, claimed that the military captured Rankus,[164] but this was not independently confirmed.

On 23 March, a special Hezbollah unit infiltrated 11 kilometers deep inside rebel-held territory in the Qalamoun region and planted bombs inside the garden of a house frequented by three rebel car-bomb experts. When the experts arrived, along with four of their bodyguards, the bombs were detonated killing all seven of them.[165]

During the evening of 26 March, the Army and Hezbollah advanced on Flitah and attacked it in an attempt to capture the town. By the next day, the attack had been halted as the military shelled Flitah. Among those killed in the fighting was the commander of the rebel Military Council of Qalamoun and his deputy.[9][166]

On 28 March, rebels in Flitah appeared to be on the verge of collapse[167] and the next day, the Army captured Flitah and Ras Al-Maar,[168] leaving only Rankus to be captured by government forces before completely cutting rebel supplies from Lebanon into Qalamoun.[169]

On 31 March, it was reported by the SOHR that an Army Colonel was killed in the fighting[170] and two days later, according to the SOHR, “a dozen” government fighters were killed and wounded in a rebel ambush, while two rebels were reportedly killed in the clashes.[171]

On 7 April, fighting raged around al-Sarkha, near Rankus, with government forces reportedly advancing.[172] Later, the Fars News Agency reported the military managed to capture al-Sarkha and thus had broken through the rebel’s first line of defense of Rankus.[173] The SOHR also confirmed the Army had advanced towards Rankus.[174]

On 8 April, the military captured the Saidnaya Observatory,[175] near Rankus,[176] after fighting that killed 15 rebel fighters.[177] Later, fighting erupted in the outskirts of Rankus which left a rebel commander dead.[178] The state news agency claimed government forces captured a hilltop overlooking Rankus as well as a few neighborhoods of the town.[179] A military sources stated rebels were willing to surrender Rankus after their string of losses in the Qalamoun area.[180] Meanwhile, the frontline at al-Sarkha was still reported to be just north of the village. During this time, rebels were retreating towards Zabadani, further south, and reportedly preparing for a last stand against the advancing government troops.[181]

On 9 April, the Army entered the area of Rankus with heavy fighting subsequently erupting and a military source eventually reporting the military had captured the town.[182] The SOHR also later confirmed government forces had captured Rankus, stating that as they entered the town there were no rebel forces a Rankus after a truce was reached a couple of days earlier between some of the town’s residents and the government, which is why the residents demanded the rebels to leave the town.[183] 140 rebels were reportedly killed during the battle for the town including an Iraqi al-Nusra commander, Abu Talha al-Baghdadi.[184] Clashes continued on the edges of Rankus.[185]

On 13 April, state television claimed the Army captured a string of hills overlooking Rankus.[186]

On 14 April, the Army captured Al-Sarkha and recaptured Maaloula.[187] Three Lebanese journalists from the pro-Hezbollah Al-Manar TV were killed during the fighting in Maaloula. Four soldiers also died as they tried to rescue the Al-Manar TV team.[188] The Army had also secured the villages of Jibbeh and Jbaadin.[189][190]

On 15 April, the military captured Assal al-Ward after rebels surrendered[191] or retreated.[192] The Army than continued on and captured Hawsh Arab that night.[193][194] During the day, government troops were still fighting pockets of rebel resistance at a mosque in Maaloula[1] which they cleared by the following day.[195]

On 16 April, the pro-government channel Al Mayadeen reported that the Army captured the town of Talfita.[196]

On 20 April, President Bashar al-Assad visited Maaloula for the Easter holiday.[197] Two days later, the military captured the town of al-Ma’moura.[198]

On 26 April, rebels in Zabadani surrendered and the Army captured the town, thus taking the last rebel stronghold in the Qalamoun region and on the Lebanese border.[199]

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