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Syrian forces draw close to Daesh-held al-Mayadin in east

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Syrian government forces celebrate in the eastern Syrian city of Dayr al-Zawr on September 11, 2017 as they continue to press forward with Russian air cover in the offensive against Daesh. (Photo by AFP)

The Syrian army and allied forces have reportedly closed in on the eastern city of al-Mayadin, which is viewed as the current main stronghold of the Daesh terrorist group in the Arab country.

Hezbollah Military Media Center reported Friday that Syrian forces have retaken control of positions and heights parallel to the main road connecting al-Mayadin, located in the province Dayr al-Zawr, to the provincial capital of the same name.

Damascus forces and their allies are only 10 kilometers away from al-Mayadin, added the report.

Syria’s official SANA news agency reported Thursday that army units had engaged Daesh terrorists on the al-Mayadin-Day al-Zawr road and the surrounding areas, inflicting heavy losses on the militants and their military equipment.

Meanwhile, so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Friday reported fighting in several areas of Dayr al-Zawr Province, where the Syrian army has heavily shelled terrorist positions.

Over the past weeks, Day al-Zawr has been the scene of a Russia-backed military operation against Daesh terrorists, many of whom have fled there from the eastern province from Raqqah, the terror group’s former holdout in northern Syria.

In June, US intelligence officials told Reuters that they believed Daesh had moved most of its diminished command structure and propaganda team to al-Mayadin southeast of Raqqah.

Backed by the Russian military and fighters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance fighters, the Syrian army managed to break Daesh’s three-year siege on Dayr al-Zawr province in yet another significant blow to the terrorist outfit.

This photo released on Monday, September 4, 2017 by SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government fighters standing on pickup trucks near Dayr al-Zawr. (Via AP)

Dayr al-Zawr is subject to a separate military campaign by US-backed militants, been establishing self-ruled zones in Syria under the pretext of fighting Daesh.

The parallel offensive by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed alliance of mainly Kurdish militia, has on numerous occasions hampered the Syrian government’s anti-Daesh battles.

Russia said last month that SDF forces had twice targeted Syrian government positions amid Dayr al-Zawr operations.

‘US using civilians as human shields’

Elsewhere near the Jordanian border, the Russian military said the US is using the refugees living in the Rukban desert camp as human shields to protect its military base in the southeastern town of al-Tanf.

Major General Igor Konashenkov, the spokesman for the Russian military, said the camp is home to some 60,000 people, mostly women and children, who have fled Raqqah and Dayr al-Zawr.

“Rukban refugees are de facto hostages, effectively a human shield for the US base. Think about it, other than by Americans such protection barriers are used in Syria only by those who they came here to fight, the terrorists,” the Russian general said in a statement.

He said the areas around the Tanf base has turned into a “black hole” used by Daesh terrorists to carry out attacks against Syrian troops and civilians.

“There were no reports of a single American operation” against Daesh in six months, according to the statement.

The US has long been accused of colluding with Daesh to provide safe passage and logistic support to the members of the Takfiri group in conflict zones.

Reports revealed last month that the US military had several times airlifted Daesh Takfiri terrorists amid Syrian army advances on Dayr al-Zawr.

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