Syria Army Breaks IS Siege on Deir al-Zor

Syria Army Breaks IS Siege on Deir al-ZorSyria Army Breaks IS Siege on Deir al-Zor

Syria's army broke a years-long siege by the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group on the government enclave of Deir al-Zor city on Tuesday, entering into a military base, state media said.

"The Syrian Arab Army has advanced on the Brigade 137 base front on the western side of Deir al-Zor city and broken the siege imposed by the Daesh organisation," state news agency SANA said, using the Arabic acronym for IS.

Syrian government troops and allied fighters, backed by Russian air support, have been advancing for weeks towards Deir al-Zor city, capital of oil-rich Deir al-Zor Province, which borders Iraq.

Government forces and tens of thousands of civilians in the city have been trapped under IS siege for over two years, facing food and medical shortages.

Early this year, the government-held parts of the city were cut in two by an IS offensive.

The army's advance to the Brigade 137 base Tuesday breaks the siege on the northern part of the city, to which it is connected by a road.

But a southern government-held section, including the key military airport, remains surrounded.

Government forces are heading towards the southern sector, however, and are currently around 15 kilometers (nine miles) away, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor. Around 100,000 people are believed to be inside government-held areas of Deir al-Zor, with perhaps 10,000 more in parts of the city held by IS.

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