Tabnak – As the fighting against ISIS terrorists is still underway in different parts of Syria, local sources report new achievements for the Syrian army in the eastern parts of the war-torn country. Syrian Army’s advances toward Dayr al-Zawr have come as a heavy blow to the terrorists.
According to Press TV, Syrian army troops have pushed deeper into the ISIS-held Dayr al-Zawr, advancing 13 kilometers in the oil-rich eastern province. The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government forces advanced into the southwest of Dayr al-Zawr from the desert town of Sukhnah on Sunday.
Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based observatory, said the latest advance was the first conducted from the Badia desert region. In June, Syrian forces entered Dayr al-Zawr from the southeast, near the Iraqi border, and earlier this month, they broke into the province from the nearby province of Raqqa, but moved just 4km in.
At the meantime, it is reported that Syrian government forces backed by Russian air support have killed over 800 members of the ISIS terrorist group during operations aimed at liberating Raqqa.
According to the Russian defense ministry on Sunday, the latest round of operations in Raqqa saw the defeat of "most capable and best armed group of ISIS in the Euphrates River valley.”
"Amid the operation, 800 terrorists, 13 tanks, 29 pickup trucks with high-caliber machine guns mounted on them, and mortars and artillery pieces totaling nine have been destroyed,” it added.
The operations were centered around the town of Ghanem Ali located in eastern Raqqa, where ISIS had launched an operation over the past few days to seize the town.
The latest developments also come less than a month after the government forces managed to wrest control over Sukhnah, the last ISIS-held town in Homs Province. The recapture of the town on August 5 opened another route for government troops to advance toward Dayr al-Zawr.
Dayr al-Zawr is one of the few remaining areas under ISIS control as the terrorist group is losing ground in Raqqa, its de facto capital in Syria. Over the past few months, Syrian army soldiers and allied fighters have made sweeping gains against terrorist elements, which have in turn increased their acts of violence across the country.
On the other hand, The city of Raqqa, which lies on the northern bank of the Euphrates River, was overrun by ISIS terrorists in March 2013, and was proclaimed the center for most of the ISIS’ administrative and control tasks the following year.
It is estimated that some 300,000 civilians are trapped inside Raqqa, including 80,000 displaced from other parts of Syria. Thousands have fled in recent months, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes about 160,000 people remain in the city.