ISIS Siege of Deir Ezzor, Syria Broken
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Breaking ISIS’ three-year siege of Deir Ezzor governorate was another milestone toward freeing the area entirely, smashing US-supported ISIS, and achieving another important victory toward Syria’s full liberation.
Miles to go remain toward that goal, but each battlefield triumph advances things closer to eventually defeating Washington’s aim for regime change and control of the country.
A Syrian Army Command statement announced the good news, saying:
“After a series of successful operations, units of our armed forces, in cooperation with the supporting and allied forces and backed by the Syrian and Russian air forces, have completed the second phase of their operations deep in the Syrian Badia (desert), and they managed through qualitative operations and heroic actions to break the siege on our people who were besieged for more than three years in Deir Ezzor.”
The achievement “constitutes a strategic shift in the war on terrorism and affirms the ability of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies to defeat the terrorist project in Syria and foil the fragmentation plans of its sponsors and supporters.”
Fighting raged for weeks. The next phase is retaking Deir Ezzor’s military airport from ISIS. Liberating the heavily fortified Thardeh mountainous area has to be achieved first, no simple task. Formidable Russian airpower will greatly aid accomplishing this objective.
Assad congratulated Syrian forces, saying “(y)ou have proved, through your steadfastness in the face of the most powerful of terrorist organizations on the face of earth, that you shoulder responsibility, as you have kept the promise and have set a great role model for next generations.”
Putin congratulated Assad by cable, affirming Russia’s commitment to continue combating the terrorist scourge in the country – adding it’s an important step toward restoring peace and security to Syria, the end game goal.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said its Kalibr cruise missiles in the offensive killed over 200 ISIS terrorists, along with destroying “12 armored vehicles, including four tanks, six artillery and mortar firing positions, a command post and a communication center, as well as three ammo depots.”
“The terrorists tried to halt the advancing Syrian troops using suicide bombers and armored vehicles loaded with explosives. The assault groups of Syria’s government army destroyed more than 50 jihadi armored pickups used by the terrorist forces.”
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu called Deir Ezzor the main strategic point along the Euphrates River.
Russia’s General Staff chief of Main Operations Gen. Sergey Rudskoy said lifting Deir Ezzor’s siege signifies a vital step toward defeating “one of the strongest groups of the Islamic State on Syrian soil.”
An intricate network of tunnels were found, large caches of weapons, munitions, explosive belts and other supplies discovered inside.
Where did it come from? Heavy weapons don’t materialize out of thin air. The successes of ISIS and other terrorist groups depend on their foreign supporters.
America, NATO, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan supply weapons and other material support, and/or facilitate their transfer cross-border into Syria.
Without this support, ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups would wither and fade away, perhaps only isolated pockets remaining to be eliminated.
Deir Ezzor residents celebrated news of breaking ISIS’ siege. They took to the streets, waving Syrian flags, chanting slogans and holding photos of President Assad – a genuine display of support for their leader.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.