Ghouta, Hezbollah’s next target in Syria?

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Heavy clashes between the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah and Syrian rebels have been taking place in a Damascus district, Ghouta, since Monday, activists said.

Recent reports of clashes in Ghouta emerged as opposition fighters battled President Bashar al-Assad’s forces aided by Hezbollah for control of the key rebel stronghold of Qusayr, a Syrian town near the Lebanese border.

The Shiite groups’ involvement in the Syrian civil war has stirred international condemnation with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stating that he was “deeply concerned” by Hezbollah’s role.

Activists said that thousands of Hezbollah fighters were training in an air force intelligence center in Al-Masraf region near Damascus International Airport, adding that the Lebanese group has taken over nine towns in the Al-Murj area neighboring Ghouta.

In more new, activists said that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons on Monday in various areas, including Jawbar, Al-Baharayia.

The French foreign minister said on Monday that there were “mounting suspicisions” that the Assad regime was using chemical weapons.

However, Laurent Fabius added that “very detailed verification” was necessary.

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