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UNITED NATIONS, September 7. /TASS/. The Syrian authorities have notified the United Nations of breaking the siege of Deir ez-Zor, besieged by militants from the terrorist group Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) since the summer of 2014.
Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, told reporters on Thursday that news had come from Damascus about reopened road access to some of the besieged areas of Deir ez-Zor.
"The UN was informed today by the Government of Syria that road access to some of the besieged areas of Deir ez-Zor City has been reopened. The 93,500 people besieged by Da’esh for three years were previously only reachable by World Food Programme (WFP) airdrops," Stephane Dujarric said.
According to the spokesperson, a first batch of humanitarian aid has already been dispatched to the city. "We have received reports that commercial trucks and some assistance have begun to arrive into the newly-cleared areas. The UN is currently working with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and humanitarian partners to respond to those in need of assistance in Deir Ezzour, as soon as security conditions allow," the spokesperson said.
On Wednesday, the chief of the main operations department of Russia’s General Staff, Sergey Rudskoy, said termination of the city’s blockade would signify the defeat of "one of the strongest groups of the Islamic State in Syria." Rudskoy said Deir ez-Zor was the place where the terrorists were pulling back the remaining forces. Militants from Mosul and a large share of the most combat-ready groups of terrorists from Raqqa had moved there
A new humanitarian convoy has been dispatched to liberated parts of Syrian Deir ez-Zor, the deputy commander of the Russian contingent in Syria, Sergey Kuralenko, said on Thursday.
"A new humanitarian convoy has been sent to the liberated parts of Deir ez-Zor that has been besieged for more than three years. The Russian side plans to dispatch foods, bottled drinking water, medicines, mobile generators and essentials," the general said.
In earlier remarks, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Deir ez-Zor was the main strategic point on the Euphrates. An end to its blockade would largely herald completion of the struggle against terrorists in Syria.