(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
BEIRUT, Sept 4 - With a sudden lunge through jihadist lines, the Syrian military and its allies are close to relieving the Euphrates city of Deir al-Zor, where Islamic State has besieged an army garrison and 93,000 civilians for years.
The advance on the eastern city marks another stinging setback for the once-triumphant Islamic State, fast retreating in both Iraq and Syria as its self-declared caliphate crumbles.
Deir al-Zor's provincial governor said he expected the army to reach the city by Tuesday night. A military media unit run by the government's ally Hezbollah said late on Sunday that the army was only about 10 km (6 to 7 miles) away.
"Islamic State is in confusion. There is no leadership or centralized control," said a commander in the military alliance supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.