Syrian army advances toward Deir al-Zour city from main desert road

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/9 8:30:46

The Syrian army continued Friday to advance against the Islamic State (IS) in the southwestern countryside of Deir al-Zour province in a bid to reach the capital city of that key province from its main southern desert road, state news agency SANA reported.

The Syrian army captured the town of al-Sholah in the countryside of Deir al-Zour province on Friday, just a day after storming the town of Kabajeb, following battles with the IS.

The bomb squads are clearing the town of roadside bombs left by IS.

Al-Sholah is on the main road to Deir al-Zour and it's 25 kilometers from the entrance of the capital city of Deir al-Zour.

Capturing al-Sholah comes as part of the military operation in the Syrian desert through the eastern countryside of Homs province in central Syria.

The aim of the progress in that area is to open the city and make another break into the siege of IS on Deir al-Zour city, just three days after the Syrian army made a breach into the three-year siege of IS on the city through the Brigade 137 base in western Deir al-Zour.

In tandem with the advance on the main desert road, the military unit, which broke the IS siege on Deir al-Zour through the military base, was advancing on the eastern rim of the city, reaching the surrounding of the graveyard area.

Both advancing troops will meet in the graveyard area, to proceed to break the IS siege on Deir al-Zour airbase, where Syrian soldiers and allied fighters have been besieged for three years.

Breaking the siege of the airport will largely play in the hands f the Syrian government forces in their push to eliminate the IS presence in the city before proceeding to the countryside where IS also controls large swathes of areas near the Iraqi border.

Since entering the city, the Syrian government has sent several truckloads of food and medicine to the city, where 93,000 civilians have been besieged for years.

The Russian air force played a significant role in supporting the ground forces of the Syrian army and allied fighters of Iranian-backed troops and tribesmen fighters.

Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that Russian airstrikes killed 40 IS militants, including commanders in Deir al-Zour.

Deir al-Zour is the last major stronghold of IS, as the terror-designated group is also losing its de facto capital of Raqqa to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which has captured more than 60 percent of Raqqa.

But the SDF is also bracing to launch operations against IS in the western countryside of Deir al-Zour with the help of the US-led coalition, as the US has interest in that area close to the southern countryside of Hasakah province in northeastern Syria, where the US is also poising to drive IS from that area.

Posted in: MID-EAST

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