On Tuesday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF), led by the Tiger Forces, officialy broke the ISIS siege on the city of Dier Ezzor.
The advance was actively supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces and Special Operations Forces. A Russian warship even launched Kalibr cruise missiles on ISIS targets near the city.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, over 50 vehicles belonging to ISIS were destroyed during the clashes.
“Using the outcome of the Russian air and missile strikes Syria’s government forces under General Suheil Hassan mounted a lightning offensive to penetrate the Islamic State’s defenses and unblock Deir ez-Zor [Deir Ezzor],” the ministry said in a statement. “The terrorists tried to halt the advancing Syrian troops using suicide bombers and armored vehicles loaded with explosives. The assault groups of Syria’s government army destroyed more than 50 jihadi armored pickups used by the terrorist forces.”
Government troops reached the outskirts of Deir Ezzor last weekend and engaged ISIS terrorists besieging the city in an intense fighting. However, they were able to secure a corridor to the city only on Tuesday.
The Syrian Defense Ministry released an official statement confirming that the Deir Ezzor siege was lifted:
According to pro-government sources, ISIS terrorists suffered significant casualties in clashes with the SAA in the Deir Ezzor area. Various sources say that from 100 to 150 ISIS members have been killed over the last 48 hours. However, these numbers still have to be confirmed.
The Syrian state-run media outlet SANA released a fresh video showing a moment when the advancing SAA units met with the Republican Guard in the 137th Brigade Base. Gen Issam Zahreddine, a leader of the defenders of Deir Ezzor, could be seen on the video:
However, the stituation remained complicated at the Sukhna-Deir Ezzor road. Accorindg to the recent repots, the SAA was not able to secure the areas of Ash-Sholah and Kobajjep yet. An intense fighting between government troops and ISIS terrorists resumed there few hours ago.
With the lifting of the Deir Ezzor siege, the Sukhna-Deir Ezzor highway became a key aim of the SAA in this part of Deir Ezzor province. If government troops secure the entire highway, they will be able to use their advantage in manpower, military equipment and supplies in order to drive ISIS terrorists from Deir Ezzor as soon as possible.