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Syrian Army Reportedly Takes Control Of Deir Al-Zor City From IS Militants

The Syrian Army and allied forces have taken full control of Deir al-Zor, the largest and most important city in eastern Syria, from the Islamic State (IS) extremist group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on November 2.

The observer group said Syrian forces are still clearing some IS-held neighborhoods that remain in the city.

The Syrian Army launched its campaign to regain control of the city in September, backed by Russian air strikes and fighting alongside Iran-backed militias and the Lebanese Shi'ite group Hizballah.

IS extremists have controlled most of the city since 2014, except for one large pocket where Syrian Army troops and 93,000 civilians had been holed up for three years.

The city is the capital of Syria's main oil-producing province and is located on the Euphrates River. The city's strategic significance for IS stemmed from its oil assets and location near the Iraqi border, where the group also controls territory.

The recovery of the city underscores President Bashar al-Assad's increasing reestablishment of control over the eastern part of Syria.

As the army has pushed east in recent months, it has taken over many of the province's oil and gas fields.

Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, and Reuters