The Syrian army managed to besiege Islamic State (IS) militants in parts of the country's eastern city of Deir al-Zour on Saturday, a monitor group reported.
Ten days after breaking a three-year siege of IS to Deir al-Zour, the Russian-backed Syrian forces and allied fighters turned the table against IS, laying a siege to the IS-held parts of the capital city of Deir al-Zour after capturing some key areas in its countryside, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Syrian army captured the town of Muraiyieh and Jafra, key to laying the siege to IS militants in Deir al-Zour.
The Syrian army is now 25 km from the key city of Mayadeen in the countryside of Deir al-Zour Province.
The city is regarded as the capital of IS in Deir al-Zour.
Meanwhile, the London-based watchdog said a Russian or a Syrian warplane was hit by IS air defense system in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zour.
It added that the plane was seen falling over the government-controlled part of Deir al-Zour, with the pilot's destiny still unknown.
Following last week's offensive, which led to breaking the IS siege to the government-controlled areas in Deir al-Zour, the Syrian forces advanced and have taken control of 64 percent of the city, while the IS controls the rest.
Deir al-Zour is the last major stronghold of IS, as the terror-designated group is also losing its de facto capital of Raqqa to the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which has captured large swathes of the city in northern Syria.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)