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Syrian army breaks IS group siege on Deir al-Zor, says state media

© George Ourfalian, AFP | Syrian troops at the entrance to Deir al-Zor city on September 3, 2017.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-09-05

Syria's army broke a years-long Islamic State (IS) group siege 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 the IS group.

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that advancing Syrian forces had linked up with government troops in Deir al-Zor.

The army and its allies had made lightning advances in recent days and pushed through IS group lines to within kilometres of Deir al-Zor.

In 2014, the jihadist group besieged the government-held enclave, where some 93,000 civilians live and an army garrison is stationed.

Deir al-Zor is located southeast of IS group's former stronghold Raqqa, most of which has been captured in a separate offensive by US-backed Syrian militias.

IS group fighters are believed to have fled to areas around Deir al-Zor as the group loses areas around Raqqa.

Both cities lie in oil-rich areas on the Euphrates river.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2017-09-05

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