The Takeover of the City of Yabrud
Yabrud and Al-Qusayr, two important cities lying near the Damascus-Homs road; Hezbollah participated in their takeover. In the campaign for Al-Qusayr Hezbollah played a leading role, while in the campaign for Yabrud Hezbollah operated as an auxiliary for to the Syrian army (Map: Google Maps)
Exposure of Workshops for Making Booby-Trapped Cars
An Al-Mayadeen TV correspondent reports on the workshop for car bombs discovered in Yabrud, showing where in the car the explosives were hidden (Al-Mayadeen TV, Lebanon, March 18, 2014).
A workshop found in Ras al-Eyn where weapons were manufactured. The booby-trapped car bears Lebanese license plates (Al-Ayam, Iran, March 20, 2014).
The Significance for Hezbollah of the Takeover of Yabrud
11. Hezbollah' death toll in the takeover of Yabrud and in the fighting in the Qalamoun region (which is still ongoing) raise the overall number of deaths of Hezbollah operatives during the Syrian civil war to 337. That is the number of names the ITIC has identified. There were several dozen additional deaths the ITIC did not identify or were not reported by Hezbollah in the media (for example, MIAs). Therefore, in our assessment the overall number of Hezbollah operatives who have died in Syria so far is about 360 (updated to April 1, 2014).
Hezbollah props up Bashar Assad after the battle in Yabrud (Al-Watan, Qatar, March 20, 2014)
An examination of the names of the 28 Hezbollah operatives killed in March showed that most of them (16) were killed in the battle for Yabrud. Another was killed in the fighting in the region of Al-Qalamoun. It was reported that ten others were "killed carrying out their duty of jihad" or "killed in the fighting in Syria." It campaign be assumed that at least some of them were killed in the battle for Yabrud and/or battles in the Al-Qalamoun region. Only one death in March was explicitly reported as having occurred in the agricultural area around Damascus.
For further information see the June 27, 2013 bulletin "Hezbollah Operatives Killed in Syria – Update."