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10 September 2017, 09:25 | Rufus Hill
Syrian government forces flash the victory sign at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Deir Ezzor
The U.S. -led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against Islamic State in Deir el-Zour province, but so-far has left clearing the province of the terrorists to the Syrian regime and its Russian partners.
Russia's defense ministry said on Friday that it had killed four senior figures of the so-called Islamic State in an airstrike near Deir Ezzor, the AP reported.
Syrian army soldiers, backed by allied forces, have managed to break a almost three-year siege imposed by ISIL terrorists on a strategic airbase in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor. ISIS is still holding out in part of Raqqa, but its defeat there by the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces is all but inevitable. Government forces are trying to get to the nearest air base, still surrounded by the militants.
Pro-regime fighters managed to break a IS siege on government-controlled parts of Deir az-Zor city this week and is moving towards the airport.
With SDF forces in control of more than 65 percent of the Islamic State's de facto Syrian capital, Raqqa, and most of the militant group's Iraqi strongholds recaptured, Deir al-Zour province has become the Islamic State's most important refuge. Ground and air support have been provided by the US -led coalition that has carried out air strikes against IS in Syria since 2014.
We were able to see there and feel very closely the U.S. collaboration with Mujahideen, Klintesvich recalled, stating that Pentagon helicopters moved ISIS leaders out of the Deir Ez-Zor region.
Meanwhile, the US -led coalition has killed dozens of jihadists linked to a convoy of ISIL buses stranded in the middle of the Syrian desert, a USA military official said September 7. "People were dying", another resident among those queuing for food, water, and other vital supplies said. "We are coordinating with the worldwide coalition", said the SDF commander.
At the United Nations, the Syrian government said road access to some areas of Deir el-Zour now have reopened as a result of the Syrian military's advance.
"Effective actions of the Russian Aerospace Forces made it possible to speed up the unblocking of the city of Deir Ezzor and allow the Syrian troops to start its immediate liberation", Moscow said in a statement. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed recently that Iran is building sites in Syria and Lebanon for the manufacture of "precision-guided missiles" with the aim of deploying them against Israel.
The Russian military named Abu Mohammad al-Shimali and Gulmurod Khalimov as two of the four Daesh leaders killed in the airstrike.
A Russian Federation - which backs the Syrian regime - and the U.S. made an agreement in 2015, to see province separated into two areas of operation to prevent accidental clashes between the two sides.
"We'll just have to see when that is going to happen", Dillon said.
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