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Tuesday
May212013

Hezbollah Heavily Involved in Key Syrian Battle

Scott Peterson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The battle for the Western Syrian city of Qusayr is being described by both sides as the possible turning point of the two-year civil war.

What makes this conflict different from other cities where fighting continues to rage is that it also involves the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his bid to crush opposition groups seeking his ouster.

Even as the Syrian government has been hitting rebel strongholds hard with air strikes in Qusayr, Hezbollah is sustaining heavy losses.

One Syrian watchdog group reports that nearly 30 Hezbollah guerrillas have died so far in the battle for Qusayr, not far from Lebanon's eastern border.

There are conflicting reports about who is gaining ground in the city located in Homs province although there's wide acknowledgement Syrian government forces regained control of more than half of Qusayr since the fight began last Sunday.

Taking back Qusayr in its entirety is seen as crucial for al-Assad as it would give him better footing in western Syria although rebel forces still seem to be holding the upper hand in northern and eastern territories.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio