Syrian forces near breaking IS siege on oil-rich Deir al-Zour

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/3 18:06:14

The Syrian army and allied forces have pushed near 14 km away from breaking the Islamic State (IS) siege on 100,000 civilians in the eastern city of Deir al-Zour, a monitor group reported on Sunday.

The steady progress of the Syrian army has been dragging on since Friday when the army announced reaching the administrative border of Deir al-Zour from the desert in the remote eastern countryside of Homs province in central Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the progress enabled the Syrian forces to capture 3,000 sq km in the countryside of that oil-rich province.

The progress comes after the Syrian forces on Saturday captured the strategic Mount Bishri, a highland region located on the administrative borders of Deir al-Zour.

The strategic significance of the mountain emanates from its location as it links the southern countryside of Raqqa, the de facto capital of IS, with the western countryside of Deir al-Zour, and the areas the army has recently taken in the remote desert in the eastern countryside of Homs province in central Syria.

It's worth mentioning that the Syrian army captured large swathes of the southern countryside of Raqqa, which makes the mountain a hub for the army to move freely between areas it has taken recently.

The military operation to break the IS siege on the city of Deir al-Zour has been dragging on for a few months in the desert of Homs and the southern countryside of Raqqa as well.

The province has largely fallen to IS save for a few areas in the city that are still under the government control but besieged by IS since 2015.

Deir al-Zour is expected to be the last IS stronghold in Syria, with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) advancing in Raqqa, and many IS militants are fleeing to Deir al-Zour.

Posted in: MID-EAST

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