BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian army closed in on Sunni Muslim jihadist rebels inside Zabadani in a major military offensive launched on Saturday to recapture the city near the border with Lebanon, state television said.
A Syrian army source was quoted as saying its forces were "making headway on several fronts" and tightening a siege of the city and had inflicted heavy casualties on rebels defending it.
Iranian backed Lebanese Hezbollah TV station earlier said the Syrian army and its fighters had begun a major aerial bombing campaign with heavy artillery shelling of rebel outposts. It showed footage of plumes of smoke hanging over the city.
(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Janet Lawrence)