Trucks carrying food entered Syria’s Deir Ezzor city on Thursday, the first time supplies have been delivered via a newly opened road after government troops broke a jihadist siege.
A local journalist confirmed that a convoy of 40 trucks carrying food had entered the city, where the army and allied forces breached an Islamic State group siege earlier this week.
“This is the first convoy of foodstuff to enter the city for nearly three years,” said Mouin al-Akl, an official with the Syrian Trade Association, which contributed the supplies.
The items were to be taken to the local branch of the trade directorate and then distributed to local shops for sale, he added.
Syrian troops on Tuesday broke through a years-long siege imposed by IS militants on tens of thousands of civilians in Deir Ezzor.
The Russian-backed soldiers and allied fighters opened a route through the Brigade 137 base on Deir Ezzor’s western edge and had been working since Tuesday to de-mine it to allow the convoy to enter.
A second part of the city, including its key military airport and surrounding neighbourhoods, remains under IS siege.
Syria’s state news agency SANA said additional supplies were headed for the city, including ambulances and medication.
Another convoy carrying food but also clothing and other items is also expected to arrive in the coming days.
Some 100,000 people were estimated to be trapped in government-held areas under IS siege before troops broke into Deir Ezzor on Tuesday.
The government was able to periodically bring in supplies by helicopter and the United Nations airdropped aid into the city, but it was otherwise cut off by the siege.