ISIS has controlled virtually the whole Deir Ezzor Province for years now, with the exception of a fraction of the provincial capital and an adjoining airbase, which have been held by a Syrian military garrison, but under constant threat to attack.
Today, some three years into the fight, advancing Syrian forces finally managed to break the siege and reach the base. This greatly bolstered morale in the neighborhoods in question, which no longer appear at risk of getting overrun by ISIS in the near-term.
Syrian officials issued a statement saying this marks a turning point in the war against ISIS, and proves they are capable of destroying the last of ISIS in the country and reclaiming all of the lost territory. Despite this rather bold claim, ISIS still holds almost the entire province.
The morale boost means a lot though, especially since the defenses around their part of the city were starting to break a few days ago, which is what prompted the forced march by Syrian troops to desperately break the siege before ISIS took the city outright.
Deir Ezzor is important because it is oil-rich, but also because the airbase near the provincial capital is the lone airbase in Eastern Syria which never fell during the entire war, meaning it’s in better condition than most.
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