The Syrian army and allied fighters have managed to retake full control over the eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr in their latest push against Takfiri Daesh terrorists.
“The armed forces, in cooperation with allied forces, liberated the city of Dayr al-Zawr completely from the clutches of the Daesh terrorist organization,” a military source told Syrian media on Friday morning.
The source added large of numbers of terrorists, including their commanders, were killed during the offensive. Army troops have also seized Daesh arms depots in the city.
Earlier in the day, Hezbollah’s military news service reported that Syrian forces were bombarding the last Daesh remnants in the city to make their way into the final district under the terror group’s grip.
The report said Syrian government forces had recaptured al-Hamidiya, Sheikh Yassin, al-Ardhi and al-Rashidia districts, and had only al-Hawiqa district left to liberate.
Damascus began the liberation operation two months ago with the support of Russian air force, and broke Daesh’s three-year-long siege of the city in September.
Syrian army forces had in recent days stepped up their gains in the city, going neighborhood to neighborhood after the remaining terrorists.
Dayr al-Zawr is the capital of an oil-rich Syrian province of the same name, which borders Iraq.
The city used to serve as the main Daesh stronghold in Syria after the terror group was forced out of Raqqah in the north by a US-backed alliance of Kurdish militants.
The fall of Daesh in Dayr al-Zawr is yet another key defeat for the Takfiri outfit, which has over the past months lost most of the territory it seized in a lightning 2014 advance across Syria and neighboring Iraq.
On the other side of the border, the Iraqi military also announced Friday that they have launched their own final operation against Daesh in the areas that straddle the frontier with Syria, entering the city of al-Qaim.
Nusra Front bombing
As the news of the simultaneous assaults in eastern and in western Iraq emerged, a Nusra Front car bomb killed at least nine people and injured 23 in a government-held village in Syria’s southwestern Quneitra area.
According to Syrian state media, rockets and gunfire followed the bomb in Hadher, close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, with the number of casualties expected to rise.
Local Syrian sources described the attack as the biggest yet in the area, saying the terrorists used new routes in their assault which they had never used before.
“The onslaught took place after the Israeli army opened a new path for the terrorists under its backing to attack Hadher,” Iran’s Tasnim news agency quoted one unnamed source as saying.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported clashes in the area between the Syrian army and the Takfiri militants.
Nusra Front, which changed its name to to Tahrir al-Sham in January, is the dominant terrorist group in the northwestern militant-held province of Idlib.
In June, Syrian military sources said Israel’s airstrikes on the Golan Heights coincided with a push by Nusra Front terrorists against army positions, which was aborted.
Israel regularly hits positions held by the Syrian army in the Golan Heights, describing the attacks as retaliatory after rockets fired mysteriously land in the occupied territories. Syria says the raids aim to help Takfiri militants fighting against government forces.
The rocket attacks are also believed to be coordinated, with Israel always holding the Syrian government accountable and using them as a pretext to respond even though the projectiles always land in open fields.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in June expressed concerns about a spike in contacts between Israeli armed forces and Syria militants, saying it could lead to escalation and cause harm to UN observers deployed to the Golan Heights.
The Wall Street Journal said the same month that Israel had been providing Takfiri terrorists in Syria’s Golan Heights with a steady flow of funds and medical supplies.