On March 8, 2013, Al-Monitor published an article titled Jabhat al-Nusra and Hezbollah In First Confrontation. The article said that the Syrian army withdrew from a long border zone between Lebanon and Syria and predicted that the zone would become a military contact line between the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah on its southwestern side and Sunni jihadist organizations on its northeastern side. This is exactly what has been happening in that area for days. And we now have information that the next few days could witness a qualitative development on that front.
“It is the battle of Qusayr, and by extension it is the battle of Homs city and Homs province.” This is how military experts from both sides describe the conflict happening in Lebanon’s northeastern corner bordering Syria. Preparations for that battle started about a month and a half ago, as reported in Al-Monitor. In early March, the Syrian army withdrew from the al-Nabak area, which faces the aforementioned zone. Regime loyalists said that it was a tactical move aimed at drawing out Sunni “jihadists” of their hiding places, as a prelude to strike at them. They were holed up in some neighborhoods in the nearby city of Homs and its countryside.