Two Hezbollah fighters including commander killed in Damascus clashes

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Clashes between the Free Syrian Army and Hezbollah in the Damascus suburb of Madhamiya on Monday have killed two members from the Lebanese Shi’ite militia group, one of them being a field commander, activists said.

The Syrian government troops backed by hundreds of fighters from Hezbollah attempted to infiltrate Madhamiya, activists added.

Meanwhile, activists reported that in another Damascus suburb, Darya, more Syrian regime forces were deployed. Madhamiya and Darya are considered to be the closest to the capital from the west.

Elsewhere, Syrian warplanes pounded the embattled town of Qusayr on Monday as a regime offensive backed by Hezbollah to retake the town from rebels entered its third week.

A fierce overnight onslaught both on the strategic town near the border with Lebanon and slightly farther north in Dabaa, AFP reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying.

Dabaa, the site of a disused military airbase that had been seized by rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, is still partly under insurgent control.

The Britain-based Observatory, which relies on a wide network of activists, medics and others on the ground for its information, said there were numerous dead on both sides, but gave no breakdown.

An estimated 94,000 people have been killed in Syria since a peaceful protest movement that began in March 2011 quickly became an armed revolt when the regime cracked down hard on dissent.

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