The moment when Syrian Arab Army (SAA) broke the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) siege on Deir ez-Zor was a «triumph,» stated the city's governor Muhammed Ibrahim Samra, speaking from Deir Ezzor, Wednesday.
Samra said that, when troops reached Deir ez-Zor, «the excitement was at its peak» and that «very fierce clashes» erupted between Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and allied... Еще forces and IS militants. However, «[Syrian] forces were able to obliterate these enemy forces and reached regiment 137, and lifted the cordon over Deir ez-Zor — it was the moment of triumph,» he continued.
Samra noted that before the IS siege was lifted «the city was suffering darkness,» as no electricity, diesel and gas were available to its citizens. The situation worsened when Deir ez-Zor started experiencing a shortage of personnel in healthcare centres, resulting in patients being forced to be treated in facilities located in other cities.
On Tuesday, SAA units had linked up with the previously-surrounded troops, thus breaking a three-year-long siege of the government-held enclave of Deir ez-Zor, with the help of the SAA Tiger Forces (also known as the Qawat Al-Nimr).
The SAA reached the Brigade 137 base on the western edge of Deir ez-Zor, where a garrison of the Syrian army had been surrounded by IS since 2014.
In recent days, pro-government forces have made rapid advances with tanks and helicopters to push through IS lines. The link-up to the garrison followed days of fierce battles in which the SAA and its allies swiftly seized IS positions. Much of Deir ez-Zor province, including a military air base and a number of towns and villages, remains under IS control.
Deir ez-Zor, which is situated southeast of IS' former stronghold of Raqqa, has been under siege by IS since 2014.
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