RT obtains footage from inside ISIS-besieged Deir ez-Zor in Syria

As the Syrian army advances towards the city of Deir ez-Zor, its residents are counting the days until liberation following years of living under an ISIS siege. Exclusive footage from the city, obtained by RT, reveals civilian sufferings and their struggle to obtain basic necessities.

Ever since the jihadists encircled the city in July 2014, suffering residents have managed to adapt, enduring the wretched living conditions.

“We’re simply not living. We live like dogs here,” one of the locals told an RT contributor who managed to gain exclusive access to the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) besieged neighborhood of Al-Jura.

Although Damascus remains in control of most parts of the city, including its air base, IS terrorists has for years tried to break the government and territorial defense force’s resistance inside the encircled municipal center.

Amid the widespread destruction, dozens of locals have been captured in the RT video queueing the streets just to get some clean water and a little bit of bread.

With the infrastructure mostly destroyed and no power supply, the only way civilians inside the city can stay warm is through burning firewood. They also use it to make food, if they can get their hands on any provisions.

Rare airdrops of humanitarian aid onto the city remains the only lifeline that supports the residents of the besieged city.

Blood stained streets, unexploded munitions and craters from explosions have long replaced the lavish playgrounds of the city that children once played in. One resident, pointing to an unexploded munition, said they have been living under IS' bombardment for years.

“These are the shells, which were recently released by militants on the neighborhoods of Deir ez-Zor,” the civilian said. “It is a crime. There is no security. There is no protection.”

However, the situation may soon drastically improve, and Deir ez-Zor residents could appreciate some peace and stability as the Syrian army, supported by Russian and Syrian airplanes, make their final push towards the city.

On Tuesday, the army clashed with jihadists in the vicinity of the airport and on the axis of al-Bugheiliyeh village, Sana reported. The Syrian Air Force also targeted “ISIS dens and movements” in the villages of Ayash, Hatla, al-Husseiniyeh and Huwejet Saqr. 

READ MORE: Russian airstrikes kill 2 ISIS commanders, thwart major attack on Deir ez-Zor – military

Local sources told the Syrian news agency that foreign IS fighters were trying to flee the area amid the government advance.

On Monday, the Russian defense ministry said its jets helped the Syrian forces recapture a large part of territory between the provinces of Homs and Raqqa as part of the El-Kder operation.

READ MORE: 'The routes in Syria are now open toward liberating Deir-ez-Zor'

Last weekend, the Syrian army announced victory in Al-Sukhnah, the last major city controlled by the militant group in the province of Homs. With the capture of Al-Sukhnah, all roads now lead to Deir ez-Zor, which lies roughly 130 kilometers to the east. Meanwhile, the US-supported Kurdish dominated Syrian Democratic Forces are also making a push towards Deir ez-Zor from the north.