TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Syrian government forces and their allies are on the verge of breaking a nearly 3-year-old siege imposed by Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) on parts of the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor, state media said.
Breaking the siege on Deir ez-Zor would mark another victory for President Bashar Assad, whose forces have been advancing on several fronts against Daesh and other insurgent groups over the past year.
Syrian troops and allied forces have for months been advancing toward Deir ez-Zor, the provincial capital of the oil-rich province of the same name.
Government forces are besieged in a handful of neighborhoods as well as a nearby airport.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday that the advancing forces are a few hundred meters from a besieged, government-held air base known as Brigade 137.
If they reach the base, they will be able to lift the siege.
State TV reported that government forces are only 3 kilometers away from breaking the siege.
State news agency SANA reported the “collapse” of Daesh defenses in the area.
“The morale is very high,” Deir ez-Zor’s Gov. Mohammad Ibrahim al-Samra told state TV, speaking from inside the besieged area.
“The army has been advancing in a rapid and calculated way from all directions,” a Syrian military source said, referring to the month-long campaign across the desert.
Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh, currently controlling parts of it.
According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.