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Syria army tries to encircle Daesh in Deir al-Zor: military source

14 September, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Coalition drones circled a stranded Islamic State convoy for days periodically picking off IS fighters if they strayed too far from the vehicles

Held by the Islamic State (IS) group, the city is the capital of the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, regarded as a strategic prize by both Syrian troops and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

On Wednesday, the Observatory said suspected US-led coalition strikes on several parts of eastern Deir al-Zor province overnight and throughout the day killed 12 people. Russian airstrikes on the western bank of the Euphrates river killed "16 civilians, including five children".

The army also captured several key areas in the city and its countryside, such as breaking the siege of the Deir al-Zour airbase, capturing the Teym oil field and the Tharda mountains.

Separately, Syrian state television said on Tuesday Islamic State militants have been using the river to flee the city of Deir al-Zor.

Russian and Syrian sappers are clearing the mines planted by IS on the road to the city.




Moscow intervened in Syria in September 2015 in support of its ally President Bashar al-Assad.

Tribal figures linked to a US-backed alliance announced plans yesterday for a council to run Syria's Deir Ezzor, as both the alliance and regime troops battle extremists in and around the city.

By Monday, the SDF's Deir Ezzor Military Council (DEMC) had seized much of the province's northeast and were just a few kilometers (miles) away from the river.

The US-led Coalition told Rudaw English that as of Tuesday, SDF partner forces "have liberated approximately 42,000 square-kilometers in Syria" which is estimated to be "77 percent of the territory previously held by ISIS".

The operation by the alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters began over the weekend, but the SDF has said it was not coordinating the fight with the regime.

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