BEIRUT – An activist group and Hezbollah's TV station say that Syrian government forces and allied fighters from the Lebanese militant group have taken control from Islamic militant fighters of more areas near a Syrian border town.
Al-Manar TV says that dozens of militants were killed or wounded when Syrian troops and "their allies" on Thursday captured an area near the town of Assal al-Ward.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says intense shelling and airstrikes in the area caused casualties on both sides.
The fighting comes amid expectations of a wide Syrian government and Hezbollah offensive in the Qalamoun mountainous region across the border from Lebanon against the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's branch in Syria, and the Islamic State group.
Hezbollah fighters captured a border village there this week.