Syrian troops breach 3-year Islamic State siege on eastern city of Deir el-Zour

 

Syrian government troops and allied forces reached the eastern city of Deir el-Zour on Tuesday, breaching a nearly three-year Islamic State group siege on government-held areas of the contested city near the Iraqi border, Syrian state TV and a war monitoring group said.

The TV said troops advancing from the west reached the western outskirts of the city and broke the siege after IS defenses collapsed.

Breaching the siege on Deir el-Zour, which has been divided between an IS and a government-held part since 2015, marks another triumph for President Bashar Assad, whose forces have been advancing on several fronts against IS and other insurgent groups over the past year.

Rami Abdurrahman who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said advancing troops and those defending the city have met.

The latest developments mark a strategic and symbolic defeat for IS, which last month lost its hold over Iraq's second largest city of Mosul and is under attack by U.S.-backed Syrian forces in its self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa, northwest of Deir el-Zour.

 

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