The Syrian Army has broken the siege on Deir ez-Zour, which has been split between ISIS and Regime control since the middle of 2014.
The move to break the siege has followed months of battles between the regime and militants of the so-called Islamic State in central Syria. After reaching the Deir ez-Zour provincial border last week, the regime and its allied forces swept through the desert area towards the city over the weekend covering more than 50km of territory. This includes the capturing of the strategic Bishri Mountains west of the city, which form a nexus between Deir ez-Zour, Raqqa and Homs Provinces.
On Saturday, as the regime forces advanced from the south and west of the city, there were reports that several people wearing masks had burned down ISIS’ media office and torn down a recruitment poster inside the city.
While later on Sunday, there were reports that the Syrian Army’s Tiger Forces had reached the western axis of the city, where the 137th Brigade are located. Fighting was reported throughout Sunday evening and Monday until today when the siege was finally broken.
According to a field commander in the Syrian army, the battle for the city is expected to take up to two months. Once ISIS militants are defeated, the group’s presence will be almost eradicated in Syria, aside from a small pocket of territory that is occupied by an ISIS affiliate known as Jaish Khalid Ibn al-Walid.