TEHRAN (defapress) – Syrian government troops Friday launched a new push toward the eastern Deir ez-Zor military airport, which has remained under a years-long siege by Daesh (ISIL or ISIS).
News ID: 65874
Publish Date: 09September 2017 - 12:48
"The operation to break the siege on the military base began
at noon today,” a Syrian military source in the city said, media reports said.
The army this week broke through one of the besieged pockets
by seizing the Brigade 137 base on the western edge of the city. Troops Friday
began a push toward the second encircled area, which includes the Deir ez-Zor
military airport on the city’s southern edge.
The source said troops from Brigade 137 had advanced south
and were now fighting in Deir ez-Zor’s vast cemetery, about a kilometer
northwest of the air base.
"And southwest of the airport, the army has already seized
the town of Al-Shoula,” about 40 kilometers from the base, the source said.
"It will aim to open a route between [government-held parts
of the] city, the military airport and the eastern neighborhoods” still under
Daesh control, the source added.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Friday it had
killed four Daesh leaders, including one it described as the group’s war
minister, in an airstrike outside Deir ez-Zor city.
The Defense Ministry said its airstrike killed 40 militants,
including four prominent warlords who gathered for a meeting of Daesh
commanders in an underground bunker outside Deir ez-Zor.
The Russian military named Abu Mohammad al-Shimali and
Gulmurod Khalimov as two of the four Daesh leaders killed in the airstrike. The
other two were not named in the statement. Shimali reportedly headed the
movement of foreign fighters into Syria and processed the group’s new recruits.
Khalimov, a colonel who received US training while heading
the riot police force in his native Tajikistan, has often been described as
Daesh’s war minister.
Since 2014, Daesh has held swaths of Deir ez-Zor province,
which border Iraq, and about 60 percent of the provincial capital.
Syria’s government remained in control of the strategic
military airport and several neighborhoods in the city home to about 100,000
people, whom Daesh put under crippling siege.
Some 42 trucks loaded with food, medicine and hygiene kits
for tens of thousands of needy civilians entered the city Friday, the Syrian
Arab Red Crescent said in a statement.
The previous day, foodstuff supplied by the Syrian Trade
Association was delivered to Deir ez-Zor via the road newly opened by Syria’s
forces when they broke the Daesh encirclement.