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Finding Terrorist Foxholes: Syrian Army 'Smokes Out' Daesh in Deir ez-Zor

© Sputnik / Michael Alaeddin / Go to the mediabankA Syrian Arab Army soldier
A Syrian Arab Army soldier - Sputnik International
The Syrian Army and the country's National Defense Forces have tracked and destroyed a strategic tunnel which had been dug by Daesh in the besieged government-held enclave of Deir ez-Zor.

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad gather at a palace complex on the western edge of Palmyra in this picture provided by SANA on March 24, 2016. - Sputnik International
Palmyra Liberation: Syrian Army Officer Reveals Details of Operation
A key tunnel built by Daesh terrorists has been obliterated by the Syrian Army and the country's National Defense Forces (NDF) in the eastern Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, the Iranian news agency FARS reported.

Dozens of the terrorists were killed and many more wounded after the army launched an attack on the 20-meter tunnel located in the southern part of the city, sources said.

© AFP 2023 / STRINGER Syrian Army soldiers take positions on the outskirts of Syria's Raqqa region on February 19, 2016
Syrian Army soldiers take positions on the outskirts of Syria's Raqqa region on February 19, 2016 - Sputnik International
Syrian Army soldiers take positions on the outskirts of Syria's Raqqa region on February 19, 2016

The attack came just days after the Syrian troops advanced on Daesh's strongholds in the towns of al-Mayadeen and al-Ashara in Deir ez-Zor province, where scores of additional terrorists were eradicated.

Earlier, the Syrian Army and the NDF foiled a Daesh attempt to penetrate the army's positions in the Eastern part of Deir ez-Zor military airport, killing at least five terrorists.

Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011, with forces loyal to the country's President Bashar Assad fighting a number of opposition factions and extremist groups, including Daesh and the Al-Nusra Front, which have been blacklisted as terrorist organizations by many countries, including Russia.

In February 2015, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2268, endorsing a Russia-US agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Syria; the ceasefire came into force shortly thereafter, on February 27, and fighting throughout much of the country subsided. However, Daesh and the Al-Nusra Front were not included in the truce.

Between September 30, 2015 and March 14, 2016, the Syrian Army's anti-terror efforts were backed by an extensive Russian air campaign. During that period, more than fifty Russian warplanes, including Su-24M, Su-25 and Su-34 jets, conducted precision airstrikes on Daesh and Al-Nusra targets in Syria at the behest of President Assad.

Syrian pro-government forces advance on a road through the town of Khanasser, which is the sole link between government-held areas in and around Aleppo and those in the rest of the country, after they reportedly recaptured it from Daesh terrorists on February 29, 2016 - Sputnik International
Counter-Punch: Syrian Army Destroys Dozens of Daesh Terrorists in Aleppo
However, on March 14 Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian Aerospace Forces unit had fulfilled its mission in Syria and that its withdrawal would begin the following day. Nonetheless, Russian air power was utilized by Assad's forces in the liberation of the ancient city of Palmyra.

Moscow will maintain a military presence in Syria, although a deadline for a complete pullout has not yet been announced. Putin also indicated that Russian forces will remain at the port of Tartus and Hmeymim Airbase.

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