Aid convoy reaches Syria’s Deir al-Zor after three-year siege


An aid convoy arrived at Deir al-Zor in eastern Syria on Thursday, bringing supplies to soldiers and civilians days after the Syrian army broke a three-year Islamic State siege, Syrian state media reported.

The Syrian army and its allies reached Deir al-Zor on Tuesday in a sudden advance following months of steady progress east across the desert. The army on Thursday advanced against militants in a pocket they still hold further west, pro-Damascus media reported.

State TV broadcast footage of scores of residents cheering with relief in Deir al-Zor as the convoy arrived.

The United Nations estimated that 93,000 civilians living under Islamic State siege in Deir al-Zor had been in “extremely difficult” conditions, being supplied only by air drops.

The 40 trucks that reached the area on Thursday carried basic needs such as fuel, food and medical supplies to civilians, and included two mobile clinics, state news agency SANA reported.