VLADIVOSTOK, September 6. /TASS/. The breaking of the Deir ez-Zor siege is an important step in the fight against terrorism in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Wednesday.
"Indeed, it is an important milestone in the war on terror in Syria - the siege of Deir ez-Zor has been broken, where the Syrian troops and civilians remained besieged by the ISIL militants for several years," he said.
"Now that the siege is broken, conditions have been created for achieving another important task, which is the liberation of Deir ez-Zor from terrorists," the Russian top diplomat added. "The Syrian troops supported by our Aerospace Force continue its activities aimed at achieving this goal," Lavrov said.
On Tuesday, Syrian government troops broke through the defenses of the IS terrorists on the outskirts of Deir ez-Zor and broke the three-year siege of the city. To support the Syrian troops’ offensive, Russia’s Aerospace Force delivered a massive airstrike on the main strongholds, manpower and materiel of the Islamic State near Deir ez-Zor, while cruise missiles were launched from the Admiral Essen frigate.
Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu earlier said that the city of Deir ez-Zor was the main point in the Euphrates River area, so the breaking of its siege would to a large extent mark the end of military activities against terrorists in Syria. According to Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia’s General Staff Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi, after the siege is broken, "the strongest ISIL units active in Syria will face a defeat." Rudskoi also pointed out that Deir ez-Zor was the place where terrorists accumulated their remaining forces, as militants from Iraq’s Mosul and most armed units from Raqqa had moved there.