Syrian government forces, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, have come closer to encircling Daesh Takfiri terrorists in a pocket of the strategic eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr after crossing over the Euphrates River.
“Today, Syrian government forces, reinforced by a unit of the 4th Armored Division and with the support of Russian aviation, crossed the Euphrates River in the Dayr al-Zawr region,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The statement added that “shock troops” had already captured several villages on the eastern banks of the river from Daesh and were making further advances eastward.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) also reported that Syrian army commandos and reconnaissance units had crossed the river using a floating bridge.
“This paves the way for completely besieging the city,” the observatory’s head, Rami Abdel Rahman, commented.
Syrian army troops and their allies have sealed off Dayr al-Zawr, located 450 kilometers northeast of the capital Damascus, from three sides, but Daesh terrorists still control the eastern flank along the Euphrates River.
Syrian troops are fighting only west of the river, while US-backed militiamen from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have waged a rival operation to the east of the Euphrates.
Dayr al-Zawr airbase starts operation for first time in a year
Meanwhile, Syria’s official news agency SANA has reported that the Dayr al-Zawr military airport has begun functioning for the first time in nearly a year.