AFP / Ahmad Al-Rubaye A member of the Iraqi pro-government forces fires a rocket-propelled grenade launcher during an operation in al-Shahabi village, east of Fallujah, in an operation to retake the city from Islamic State group, on May 24, 2016
AFP / Ahmad Al-Rubaye A member of the Iraqi pro-government forces fires a rocket-propelled grenade launcher during an operation in al-Shahabi village, east of Fallujah, in an operation to retake the city from Islamic State group, on May 24, 2016

The Syrian army and allied fighters are on a counter-offensive against the Islamic State (IS) group in the southern rim of the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, a military source told Xinhua on Friday.

The Syrian forces are advancing toward the Graveyard area south of Deir al-Zour, amid intense battles with the IS terror group in that area, the source said, on condition of anonymity.

He said assorted kinds of weapons are being used coupled with heavy artillery shelling on the IS positions there.

The source added that IS suffered losses of many of its fighters in the battles in Deir al-Zour.

The counter-offensive comes the IS militants made significant gains against Syrian army in a new offensive in Deir al-Zour.

Earlier this week, the IS militants captured areas around the Deir al-Zour airbase, which enabled the group to cut the road between the base and the city, just a day after the militants captured the mountain overlooking the city.

This progress is dangerous as the airbase is the only lifeline left for the city, which has been besieged by IS since early 2015.

Cutting the road is not only cutting a lifeline but also dividing the government-controlled parts of the city into two parts, eastern and western, which tightens the noose on over 500,000 civilians in the city.

The IS next step is apparently attempting to capture the airbase, and in near future to storm the government-controlled parts of the city, if there was no surgical military operation to put an end to the marching IS terrorists. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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