BEIRUT - Hezbollah has scrambled elite combatants to shore up the regime’s defensive lines west of Palmyra after ISIS took control of the ancient archeological city over the weekend, according to an outlet close to the Lebanese party.
“Hezbollah dispatched a large number of Radwan Forces troops to the eastern Homs province,” sources told ArabiPress.org, a site formerly known as SouthLebanon.org that publicizes funeral announcements for the militia's fighters killed in Syria.
The unnamed sources said that Hezbollah also deployed fighters from the Al-Ridha Forces, a mainly-Shiite militia trained by Hezbollah based in the Homs province.
“These force were able to stop the ISIS advances and regained a number of important checkpoints,” the sources also said, claiming that the deployment prevented “the fall of Syrian army positions.”
Hezbollah considers the Homs province a vital front which it will “not let fall apart” and negatively affect the situation in the rest of Syria or Lebanon, the report added.
Other media outlets affiliated with Hezbollah have yet to make any mention of the party deploying outside Palmyra, which ISIS took control of on December 11 following an unexpected offensive.
In the ensuing days, the jihadist group advanced westward to nearly surround the T4 base, the regime’s largest airbase in the war-torn country.
Amid the fierce fighting outside Palmyra, reports emerged in past days that four Hezbollah fighters were killed in battles against ISIS, however recent death notices have made no mention of them dying near the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Iran, for its part, announced on Wednesday that a general from the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was killed on the Palmyra frontlines.
NOW's English news desk editor Albin Szakola (@AlbinSzakola) wrote this report.