Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has congratulated his counterpart Bashar al-Assad after Syrian state media said government troops broke a three-year long siege of the eastern city of Deir al-Zour by Islamic State (IS) forces.
Putin hailed the announcement on September 5 as an “important strategic victory” in the conflict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow.
Syrian government forces and tens of thousands of civilians in the city have been trapped by the IS siege for more than two years, suffering under food and medical shortages.
Syria’s official news agency Sana reported that the army and allied militiamen had joined up with forces at the Brigade 137 base on Deir al-Zour’s outskirts.
Full story: rferl.org
Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.