Noose tightens around Daesh militants in Syria, Iraq

Author: ARAB NEWSFri, 2010-09-10 03:00ID: 1504991596849732300JEDDAH: The noose tightened around Daesh militant forces in both Iraq and Syria on Saturday as US-backed militias and the Syrian Army advanced in Deir Ezzor and the Iraqi air force and the US-led coalition stepped up airstrikes on the Daesh-held town of Hawija.
In Syria, Assad regime troops broke the Daesh siege of Deir Ezzor military airport, days after ending another siege on residential districts of the eastern city.
The breach came “after the forces advancing from the cemetery southwest of the city linked up with the forces holding the airbase,” the state news agency SANA said.
The troops had launched a new push on Friday toward the besieged military airport, as part of its multi-pronged offensive to retake the whole city from the militants.
Since 2014, Daesh has held swaths of Deir Ezzor province, which borders Iraq, and about 60 percent of the provincial capital.
They had encircled two regime-held enclaves in the western half of Deir Ezzor city, and the army on Tuesday broke through one of them.
“By breaking the siege on the military airport, regime forces have been able to link up all the neighborhoods they hold in western parts of Deir Ezzor city,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitor based in the UK.
In the eastern Syrian desert, Assad regime forces also advanced past the 11-bus convoy of Daesh terrorists and their families who left the Lebanon-Syria border last week in a controversial deal brokered with Hezbollah. This means the militants will be unable to join the fighting in Deir Ezzor.
“From the start of this situation on Aug. 29, we have placed responsibility for the buses and passengers on the Syrian regime,” said Brig. Gen. Jon Braga, director of operations for the coalition. “The regime’s advance past the convoy underlines continued Syrian responsibility for the buses and terrorists. As always, we will do our utmost to ensure that the terrorists do not move toward the border of our Iraqi partners.”
The dueling battles for Deir Ezzor highlight the importance of the oil-rich eastern province, which has become the latest center of the international war against Daesh. The race to reach the Iraqi border will shape future regional dynamics, determining whether the US or Russia and Iran will have more influence in the strategic area once the extremist group is defeated.
In Iraq, meanwhile, government forces are pushing Daesh out of the remaining pockets of territory the group holds after the liberation of Mosul in July, in preparation for a ground assault on the town of Hawija.
“There are large operations underway ahead of the liberation of Hawija and surrounding areas,” Iraqi Defense Minister Erfan Al-Hayali said. His forces were working closely with Kurdish peshmerga fighters as well as the coalition, he said, and had begun radio broadcasts and leaflet drops on Hawija warning civilians of the coming attack.
The stepped-up coalition airstrikes are targeting Daesh territory in western Anbar as well as Hawija, said US Army Col. Ryan Dillon, the coalition spokesman.
Main category: Middle-EastTags: DaeshAnti-DaeshDeir EzzorSyriafree syrian armyDamascusIdlibAlepporelated_nodes: 3 held in new Turkish crackdown on DaeshSyrian army seizes oilfield from Daesh in east — state TVPhilippines seeks more funds to fight pro-Daesh militants

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