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Syrian regime makes advances against IS in Deir az-Zor Open in fullscreen

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Syrian regime makes advances against IS in Deir az-Zor

Most of the Deir az-Zour province has been held by IS since 2014. [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 August, 2017

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Syrian regime forces advanced 13 kilometres in the eastern province of Deir az-Zour, as they continued an offensive against the Islamic State group stonghold, a monitor said.

Syrian regime forces advanced 13 kilometres in the eastern province of Deir az-Zor on Sunday as they continued an offensive against the Islamic State group, a monitor said.

Syrian regime troops broke into Deir az-Zor in June from a border region with Iraq and earlier this month they breached it from the neighbouring province of Raqqa, but moving just four kilometres into the IS stronghold.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday that soldiers from Bashar al-Assad's regime pushed into the south-west of the oil-rich province from the desert town of Sukhnah.

It was the first advance carried out from the Badia desert region, the group added.

The Syrian regime has been conducting a military campaign with Russian support to recapture Badia, an area which separates Damascus from Deir az-Zor.

Most of the Deir az-Zor province has been held by Islamic State militants since 2014, with the group besieging regime forces and civilians inside the provincial capital since 2015.

The region was struck by fierce regime airstrikes on Sunday with more than 50 attacks overnight, the observatory said.

IS has lost swathes of territory to US-backed forces in the north and to Russian-backed Syrian troops in the country's centre and east.

Moscow has said the recapture of Deir az-Zor could mark the conclusion of the battle against IS.

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