Syrian Army Retakes Strategic Hill Near Deir ez-Zor, Lifting Blockade of Airbase
19:57 08.09.2017(updated 22:20 08.09.2017)
The Syrian Army has begun an operation to lift the blockade of the Deir ez-Zor airbase, having captured a strategic hill between it and the city, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene.
The army and republican guard troops are breaking into the airbase area from the direction of the city's graveyard.
The offensive is being supported by aviation and artillery.
The Syrian Army, with Russian air support, managed to finally break the three-year Daesh siege of the city of Deir ez-Zor on September 5. Until that point, food and ammunition had only been delivered to the city by air. Helicopters from the city of Qamishli had evacuated the wounded and delivering essential supplies to the city's population.
The operation to break the siege of Deir ez-Zor, which lies 140 km south east of Raqqa, began after four months of planning and preparation in the wake of the completion of the operation to liberate east Aleppo in January. This operation ended serious rebel activity in western Syria, allowing pro-government forces to turn their attention to the east across the country's desert region into Daesh heartlands.
On September 7, a source told Sputnik the US Air Force had evacuated Daesh field commanders from Deir ez-Zor. The US-led coalition denied the claims.
Russia has sent humanitarian aid to the city, but there has been none from the West.
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