Syrian Army breaks 3-year IS siege of military base

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Cairo, Sep 5 (IANS) The Syrian Army on Tuesday managed to break the three-year siege by the Islamic State terror organisation of its military base in eastern Syria, media reports said.

Following combat with IS fighters, the pro-government forces were able to breach the encirclement and open corridors to reach the base of the 137th Brigade in the city of Deir al-Zour, Efe news agency reported quoting the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and state news agency SANA.

Deir al-Zour city is 450 km to northeast of Damascus on the banks of the Euphrates River.

The Britain-based SOHR added that the advance of troops loyal to the Syrian government took place after they removed mines and explosive devices from the area that separated them from the besieged barracks.

The inhabitants of the government-controlled neighbourhoods of Deir al-Zour celebrated the arrival of the troops to break the siege, according to SANA.

The offensive against IS combatants in the province of Deir al-Zour, mostly controlled by the extremists, began on Saturday on two fronts and was launched from the neighbouring province of Homs, with the support of Syrian artillery and aviation.

Despite the IS siege of Deir al-Zour since early 2015, the Syrian Army maintained control of several neighbourhoods in the northwest of the city and the military airport, located in the southeast, in addition to the aforementioned barracks.

The province of Deir al-Zour is the last main bastion of IS militants in Syria.

–IANS

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