DEBKA sources: Reports on breaking of Deir ez-Zour siege premature
According to DEBKAfile's military sources, the reports since Tuesday of the lifting of the siege imposed by Islamic State on the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zour are premature. An examination of the situation on the ground on Wednesday shows there are areas near the city that are still being held by ISIS forces, the sources said.
Heavy battles are underway around the city of Ash-Shula, located 30 km west of Deir ez-Zour, where Syrian and Hizbollah forces have not been able to break through the ISIS defense lines. Without the capture of Ash-Shula, the M20 highway leading to Deir ez-Zour will not be open to Syrian and other forces.