Celebrations after Lebanon's Hezbollah and Syria's army made big advances against insurgents in mountains north of Damascus Wednesday. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
A soldier waves the Syrian flag in the Qalamoun region Thursday near the Lebanese border. Lebanon's Hezbollah and Syria's army made the gains in the region north of Damascus Wednesday, shoring up President Bashar al-Assad's grip on the border zone. Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shi'ite group with a powerful militia, has been a vital ally for Assad in a conflict that has become a focal point for the struggle between Tehran and Sunni Saudi Arabia --which is backing the insurgency. The offensive had been expected for some time -- and now it is time for Assad's forces to celebrate after losing much of the north and east in more than four years of war.