MIDDLE EAST

Syria army captures Deir al-Zor city from ISIS

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike hit part of the Saeqa military camp near the town of Ayyash in western Deir al Zor province. (File photo: AP)

Syria’s army and allied fighters have captured the city of Deir al-Zor from the ISIS group in a Russian-backed operation, a monitor said on Thursday.

There was no immediate confirmation from official sources, though state media earlier reported army advances in the city in the country’s east.

"Regime forces and allied fighters... with Russian air support have full control of Deir al-Zor city," the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"Fighting has ended, now there are sweeping operations under way," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Earlier, the Observatory and Syrian state media reported Syrian government troops had captured three new neighborhoods from the militants.

But a military source had said the government only held around 80 percent of the city.

Syria’s army broke into Deir al-Zor in September, ending an ISIS siege of nearly three years on government-held parts of the city.

ISIS once held most of Deir al-Zor province, an oil-rich region that runs along the eastern border with Iraq.

But it is under attack from two separate campaigns, including the regime’s Russian-backed assault, and another operation by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters.

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Last Update: Friday, 3 November 2017 KSA 00:25 - GMT 21:25
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