Tabnak – After more than three years, the Syrian Army finally managed to break ISIS siege on Dayr al-Zawr. This could mark a great breakthrough for the army and its allies in their fight against terrorists.
Syrian army forces, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, have reached the eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr and broken a nearly three-year siege imposed by ISIS terrorists on pro-government areas there.
Syria’s state-run television network reported that army and allied forces had advanced on the Brigade 137 base front on the western outskirts of the city, located 450 kilometers (280 miles) northeast of the capital Damascus on the shores of the Euphrates River, on Tuesday.
According to Reuters, tanks and troops had pressed quickly toward a government-held enclave in the city, where ISIS had encircled thousands of civilians and Syrian forces since 2014. ISIS still controls much of Dayr al-Zawr province, including half the city.
The Syrian army supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces has been advancing toward Dayr al-Zawr from three directions as part of the campaign to free the city launched in August.
The lifting of the siege of Dayr al-Zawr will lead to the complete defeat of the most combat-effective formations of the ISIS terrorist group in Syria, Sputnik quoted the chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate as saying.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced earlier today that a Black Sea frigate launched strikes with cruise missiles on ISIS targets in Syria from the Mediterranean as part of the operation to free Dayr al-Zawr from ISIS terrorists.
Since the capture of the Iraqi city of Mosul in July and gains made by US-backed forces in the terrorists’ self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa in Syria, Dayr al-Zawr is the biggest city still under ISIS control in both Iraq and Syria.
Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad extended his congratulations to government troops on breaking the ISIS siege on Dayr al-Zawr.
Assad, in a telephone conversation with Major General Rafiq Shehadeh, the head of the security committee in Dayr al-Zawr, General Hassan Mohammed, the commander of the 17th Brigade, and Brigadier General Essam Zahruddin, the commander of the 104th Brigade in the Republican Guard, praised army soldiers for their sacrifice, self-devotion and great sense of responsibility to fulfill their duties and protect defenseless civilians against terrorist groups.
It should be noted that during the long siege, high-altitude air drops have supplied the city. The United Nations said in August it estimated there were 93,000 civilians in government-held parts of Dayr al-Zawr city, where conditions were "extremely difficult”.
Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including ISIS, currently controlling parts of it.
According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.