Syrian army thrusts east to break siege of Deir al-Zor city

September 4, 2017 15:32
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Breaking news. (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.

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