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Iranian Militias Enter Deir Ezzor, Expand Control on Borders with Iraq | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People inspect damaged areas in Deir Ezzor, the 6th largest city in Syria. Reuters

Beirut- Syrian regime forces and Iranian-backed militias have entered the administrative borders of Deir Ezzor for the first time since the launch of the largest military operation to control the Syrian desert and expand on the borders with Iraq.

Members of Iraqi resistance movement “Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba” and pro-regime Syrian, Lebanese, Iranian, Afghani gunmen and regime forces entered the administrative borders of Deir Ezzor on Friday from its southeastern countryside near Iraq after clashes with ISIS militants in the desert few kilometers from the borders.

Pro-regime forces managed to cross the administrative border of Deir Ezzor after controlling the areas of al-Waer, al-Washash and several other areas that were within the control areas of ISIS eastern Syria.

This strategic advance by the regime forces allowed them to expand their control and presence on the Syrian-Iraqi border, reaching about 85 kilometers of control and presence on the border, about 12 kilometers from the T2 station southeast Deir Ezzor.

This progress comes as the regime forces seek to force ISIS militants to withdraw from the largest area of the desert and the Syrian territories.

Meanwhile, violent clashes broke out between the regime forces and ISIS in several areas in the eastern countryside of Homs and the vicinity of Umm al-Tababir while the helicopters bombed areas on the road between the cities of Palmyra and al-Sakhana, amid heavy shelling by the regime forces on several areas in the eastern countryside of Homs.

On the battle line of Raqqa, clashes continued between the US-backed “Syrian Democratic Forces” on one hand, and ISIS on the other hand in several directions in Raqqa and its outskirts, in preparation for drawing a straight line that links the north of the city to the east in order to start the second phase of Raqqa battle soon.