The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) managed to break the siege of Deir ez-Zor by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL/ISIS), Friday, with the backing of Russian aerospace forces and allied fighters.

In recent days, pro-government forces made rapid advances with tanks and helicopters to push through IS lines.

Deir ez-Zor, which is situated southeast of IS’ former stronghold of Raqqa, had been under siege by IS since 2014 and served as a main supply corridor for IS between neighbouring Iraq and Syria.