Russian Cruise strike lifts 3 year siege of Deir Ezzor
Tuesday, 05 September 2017

The siege of the Syrian provincial capital of Deir ez-Zor has been lifted, the Russian Defense Ministry confirms. The breakthrough by the Syrian Army was made possible by a Russian cruise missile strike on Islamic State militants, it said in a statement.

The Russian Navy launched Kalibr cruise missiles against jihadists stationed near the city, the ministry said. This enabled units commanded by General Suheil al-Hassan to break through IS defenses and lift the blockade.

“Terrorists attempted to stop the break-through of the Syrian army by deploying suicide bombers on armored vehicles,” the statement stated, adding that Syrian army destroyed some 50 terrorist “jihadmobiles” during the siege.

The Russian strikes destroyed a number of Islamic State’s fortified areas, which included artillery positions, ammunition depots, shelters and a network of underground tunnels.

Syrian troops trying to widen the breach and liberate the city’s neighbourhoods are currently engaged in street battles with the jihadists, according to the Defense Ministry statement.

Islamic State [IS, formermly ISIS/ISIL] has blockaded the provincial capital for almost 3 years.

The garrison of Deir ez-Zor has been holding out against Islamic State forces in rural parts of the governorate, sustained by airdrops of crucial supplies.

An estimated 93,000 civilians remain under the protection of Damascus’ forces within the city limits.

In the past few days, the advancing government forces have repeatedly moved swiftly to break through jihadist lines.


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