BEIRUT: Nine Hezbollah fighters were killed in the last 48 hours during battles in two rebel-held towns near Syria's capital Damascus, a security source told The Daily Star on condition of anonymity Friday.
The combatants were killed in the Eastern Ghouta region east of Damascus, which has been devastated by fighting since the outbreak of Syria's conflict in March 2011, as well as in the town of Daraya southwest of Damascus, the source added.
Hezbollah is taking part in a number of offensives launched recently by the Syrian army against rebel-held positions in various districts across the country, backed by the Russian air force.
Air raids by Syrian government warplanes on Hammuriyeh and Irbin in Eastern Ghouta, the largest rebel stronghold in Damascus province, killed 28 civilians, including 10 children, an activist group said Thursday.
At least 60 others were also wounded in the raids, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.
The town of Daraya has been under siege by Syrian President Bashar Assad's government forces since 2013.
Hezbollah has officially announced its support for Assad, saying that its decision is aimed at preventing Syria from falling into the hands of militants and protecting Lebanon from extremist groups.