Report: Syrian Army Finishes Capturing Deir Ezzor From ISIS

Provincial Capital Long Contested Between ISIS, Military

According to reports from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Syrian military and its allies have effectively finished their offensive into the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor, which has been contested for years between them and ISIS.

ISIS had held most of the city until recent months, when Syrian forces pushed into the area to link up with the defensive forces remaining at the Syrian air base. The pushes into Deir Ezzor quickly put ISIS on the defensive in the area.

The Syrian military hasn’t announced the victory in the city yet, and commanders were quoted saying they believe there are still pockets of ISIS fighters within the city. This may suggest they don’t want to claim premature victory, something other factions have often done against ISIS in big cities.

Still, the fight for Deir Ezzor has been all but over for weeks, with the focus shifting further up-river on the Euphrates toward the Iraqi border, as Syrian forces aim to seize as many of the cities and towns along the shore before US-backed Kurds take them first.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.