At least 50 rebels were killed in an ambush by Syrian government forces in a mountainous area near the Lebanese border on Saturday, activists and security sources said.

Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad backed by allies from the Lebanese Shi’ite militant movement Hezbollah have largely pushed insurgents from towns and villages in the Qalamoun region bordering Lebanon since March, but some pockets of rebels have held out.

On Saturday, pro-government militias and Hezbollah fighters led an artillery ambush killing “dozens” of rebels, including from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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