Assad regime seizes Deir Ezzor city from Daesh

Author: SYED TAUSIEF AUSAFSat, 2017-11-04 03:00ID: 1509741075379002000JEDDAH: The Syrian regime has seized Deir Ezzor from Daesh, state media reported on Friday, driving the terrorist group from the last major Syrian city where it was present.
“The army announces full control of Deir Ezzor city,” state television said, citing sources on the ground, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor that relies on a network of sources inside Syria for its information, said: “Regime forces and allied fighters… with Russian air support have full control of Deir Ezzor city.”
Observatory Director Rami Abdel Rahman said around 37 percent of Deir Ezzor province is still under Daesh control, 32 percent is held by the regime, and the rest by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). 
The town of Al-Bukamal, which is larger than Deir Ezzor city, is still under Daesh control, as are 31 villages or towns, he added. 
Asked if the loss of Deir Ezzor city means the threat from Daesh is over, Abdel Rahman told Arab News: “Yes, Daesh is gone 100 percent, but we need to wait until the end of this year, then we can say the terror group is finished.” 
Asked about the fate of Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Abdel Rahman said: “We don’t know whether he’s alive or dead.” 
Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the US-led international coalition against Daesh, said Al-Baghdadi is believed to be hiding in the desert near the border with Iraq, Reuters reported.
Abdel Rahman said in May, the regime was in control of 20-22 percent of Syria, but is now in control of 54-57 percent. 
Regarding Daesh’s next move, Dillon said: “We do expect them now to try to flee, but we’re cognizant of that and will do all we can to annihilate IS (Daesh) leaders.”
In a separate development, Ali Akbar Velayati, the top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said Syrian regime forces will advance soon to take Raqqa city, which the SDF seized from Daesh last month, Reuters reported.
Main category: Middle-EastTags: Deir EzzorDaeshISISSyrian Observatory for Human RightsRami Abdel RahmanAbu Bakr Al-Baghdadirelated_nodes: Daesh will survive Deir Ezzor defeat, warn expertsAirstrikes and troops pound last Daesh bastion in Deir EzzorSyrian army, Daesh clashes in Deir Ezzor kill 73

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