File - Forces loyal to Bashar Assad are seen in the Qalamoun mountains north of Damascus. (REUTERS/SANA/HO)
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As security forces stepped up an anti-terror crackdown, arresting a suspected ISIS emir and five others in north Lebanon, attention turned to what politicians and media have dubbed a looming "decisive battle" in Syria's Qalamoun region.The battle is expected to pit the Syrian Army and Hezbollah against Islamist militants, namely ISIS and the Nusra Front. Speaker Nabih Berri voiced support for a Qalamoun battle to liberate Lebanese lands controlled by Syria-based jihadis. The Nusra Front, Syria's Al-Qaeda affiliate, announced Sunday that it was training its fighters on the use of anti-tank weapons in preparation for the impending battle in Qalamoun.Reports from Qalamoun said the Nusra Front has prepared about 6,000 fighters for the battle and that instructions have been issued to the fighters that withdrawal from the region was out of the question.
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