IS wins more of Deir e-Zor city





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Islamic State forces came closer to consolidating their control of Deir e-Zor city, pushing regime fighters out of an island linking the IS-controlled countryside to the city on Tuesday, reported opposition news sources. “Saqer Island is a strategic area, as the regime was targeting anything entering IS territory in Deir e-Zor from its positions on the island,” Abu Mujahid a-Shami, the director of the Deir e-Zor is Being Slaughtered Silently opposition media campaign told Syria Direct on Wednesday. IS previously had to resort to ferrying supplies across the Euphrates river, which divides the contested city of Deir e-Zor from a countryside completely under IS control, as the city’s main bridges are only semi-operational and often bombed. The advance comes after a week of heavy fighting for the island between IS and the regime’s elite 104th Republican Guard brigade, with both sides suffering dozens of casualties. The Islamic State’s advance also threatens the military airport to the south of the island, which the regime relies upon to bring in supplies to the city due to IS positions throughout the countryside, added a-Shami. “Whomever controls the island can control the city.”