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The New Arab

US-led special forces rescue IS-held hostages in Syria raid

The Islamic state group have maintained a strong presence in Deir Ezzor since 2014 [AFP]

Date of publication: 9 January, 2017

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US commandos made a daring raid in IS-held stronghold of Deir az-Zour and reportedly rescued hostages being held in Syria's eastern province, and took a militant captive.

US-led coalition forces parachuted into the Islamic State group stronghold of Deir az-Zour in eastern Syria on Sunday, killing a number of militants and rescuing hostages being held by the jihadis.

The special forces team landed in the afternoon and reportedly cut off a road linking Kabr village to Jazra town before carrying out the rescue mission. A water plant in the area was also raided, where a number of IS fighters were captured.

Several IS militants in the area were reportedly killed during special forces in the raid.

"Our information said that [the mission] was to rescue hostages, and one of IS members went with [the troops] without being forced. So we believe that the arrests of IS members by coalition came by accident, while there is an important secret prison in the area," activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently told The New Arab.

"We think Westerners were held there but we don't have names... IS put the area under siege after the landing," the group added.

Sunday's offensive also saw an IS vehicle in the area destroyed by US-led coalition forces, while locals were reportedly prevented from entering the area.

Deir ez-Zour is one of the largest  Syria's east, has been held by the IS group since 2014, with regime forces retaining pockets of control within the area.

At present, pro-regime forces and the IS group are locked in a battle for control of the city, with a siege causing civilians to severely lack basic supplies.

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