Elitist units of Syrian troops on Friday took al-Shula village and fully cleared it of terrorists, SANA news agency said.

Al-Shula, located 22 km to the southeast of Deir ez-Zor on a road leading to the oasis of al-Suhna was an Islamic State stronghold, the agency said.

On Tuesday, the fighters of the Republican Guard and the Tigers special task brigade broke through the blockade of Deir ez-Zor on the western flank of the front and joined forces with the defenders of the 137th Artillery Regiment’s base. This made it possible to deliver more than 900 tonnes of humanitarian cargoes to the city that had survived a three-year long siege.

The government forces took a strategic bridge over the Euphrates to the northeast of Deir ez-Zor on Thursday. They expanded control significantly over the areas adjoining the city. At present, the troops continue the operations to unblock the military airdrome.

SANA also said that on Friday the government forces took Tall Alloush height and are now pursuing the remainders of IS gangs in the township of al-Makabir to the north of the base, as well as in the vicinity of Mount Jebel-Sarda. At the same the Syrian and Russian warplanes delivered a series of strikes at the militants’ strongholds in the suburban districts of Ayyash, al-Bughayliyah and others.

IS units laid siege to Deir ez-Zor and seized its eastern districts in 2014. Some 93,000 people live in the city at present.

The lifting of the siege of Deir ez-Zor City, the administrative center of the eastern governorate enables the government forces to launch an operation to remove terrorists from the Euphrates Valley along the border with Iraq.

Liberation of the governorate, which is rich in oil and gas deposits, will have significance for the Syrian economy and resumption of trade with Iraq.

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