The Syrian army has reportedly shifted a large number of its forces toward Eastern Aleppo and Deir Ezzor in preparation for separate operations against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS).
According to defense sources, hundreds of troops arrived in eastern parts of Aleppo province, along with tons of military hardware in preparation for a fresh assault against extremist militants in the region.
The army is reportedly planning a large-scale offensive against Islamic State positions in al-Bab and Deir Hafer within the next few days. Significantly, the Syrian military is reportedly in direct contact with Turkish-backed forces involved in the Euphrates Shield Operation. Syrian troops are steadily approaching al-Bab where the Turkish army along with its allied militant groups based in Syria, are bogged down in their operation against ISIS. The Turkish government, frustrated with lack of US air support, have since called on Russia to assist its efforts against the terror group.
This week, in Syria’s east, hundreds of soldiers were brought to Deir Ezzor, a city with a population of around 200,000 people, and besieged by ISIS militants.
Several Russian IL-76 planes transferred the soldiers to al-Qamishli airport during night hours, where MI-17 transport helicopters transferred them to Deir Ezzor city to join forces with Syrian troops battling Islamic State extremists who recently launched an intense assault on the city.
Scores of civilians and soldiers have been killed in the fresh assault by the group, while hundreds of residents were kidnapped as militants took over villages on the city’s outskirts.
Russia has sent heavy bombers, four times in the last week, to launch around one hundred airstrikes in an effort to fight off ISIS militants, targeting arms dumps and factories in the area.
Hundreds of more soldiers are expected to be transferred to Deir Ezzor over the next several days as the army prepares for the battle against ISIS.
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