Syrian troops cross Euphrates as they advance east of Deir ez-Zor (VIDEO)
Syrian government forces, with Russian air support, have successfully crossed the Euphrates River near Deir-Ez-zor, effectively securing their advance against Islamic State in the area.
“Assault units of the Syrian Army have flushed out Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL] fighters from a number of villages on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River and are pressing the advance eastward while expanding their foothold,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
A video from Ruptly shows special forces units of the Syrian Army assembling a row of pontoons before crossing the Euphrates on foot and in armed vehicles. Jubilant soldiers emerge on the other side of the river as they continue to push forward.
Syrian troops were reinforced by units of the forth tank division, and backed by the Russian Air Force, as they made the crossing, the defense ministry said.
The blockade of Deir ez-Zor, which was under siege by ISIS militants for three years, was lifted by Syrian Army troops on September 5 with Russian air support. The city’s liberation enabled convoys to start delivering food, medicine, and other essentials to the city, which previously had to rely on airdrops.
Up to 125,000 people were trapped by the militants in the city during the siege.