Syrian army advances to Islamic State-besieged Deir Ezzor enclave

Syrian army advances to Islamic State-besieged Deir Ezzor enclave

Syrian army advances to Islamic State-besieged Deir Ezzor enclave

Syrian state media also reported the army was advancing towards the besieged base, which is adjacent to parts of the city still under government control.

The long-standing Syrian military offensive east into the ISIS-held Deir Ezzor Province has gained a new sense of urgency after defenses within their portion of the city of Deir Ezzor have begun to crumble in the face of an ISIS advance.

Government forces retain control of segments of the city but they have been under siege by IS militants since 2015.

Deir ez-Zor, located on the shores of the Euphrates River to the northeast of Damascus, and a military airfield near the city have been besieged by ISIS for over three years, with food and ammunition only being delivered by air.

Aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Force within last two days destroyed near Syria's Deir ez-Zor nine armored vehicles of the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia), the Defense Ministry said on Saturday, September 2, TASS reports.

The siege has created a humanitarian crisis in the city, with food and medical shortages and soaring prices.

Syrian army

Syria's army is advancing towards the enclave on several fronts, including from the provinces of Raqqa to the west and from Homs to the south.

A convoy of 17 buses started out on Monday headed for the ISIL-held town of Albu Kamal under a deal negotiated by Syria's government and Lebanese Hezbollah.

The US-led coalition vowed to continue monitoring the convoy and disrupt any effort it makes to cross into ISIL territory, but said it would not bomb it directly because it contains civilian family members of the fighters.

It said it had offered a plan to spare the women and children in the convoy "further suffering", but gave no details.

The statement said coalition strikes had not targeted the convoy, but had killed about 85 IS militants seeking to facilitate the movement of the buses.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has described the evacuation deal between ISIL and the Syrian government brokered by Hezbollah as "unacceptable" and an "insult to the Iraqi people".

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