Still on the topic of the Syria war:
LifeNews Special Correspondent Semyon Pegov reports from the Syrian city of Deir_ez-Zor. [On map shown here, spelled as “Deir al-Zor” – in spoken Arabic, the “al-” prefix mutates according to the consonant following it.]
According to wiki, this is the seventh largest city in all of Syria, and the largest in the eastern part. The province in which this city is located, borders with Iraq, and is considered the most dangerous in all of war-torn Syria.
According to the LifeNews piece, Deir ez-Zor is at the center of the anti-ISIS resistance in this province. This city has been under blockade for over three years, a blockade which can even be compared to the siege of Leningrad in World War II.
With the enemy at the gates, and nothing else for hundreds of kilometers around, except open desert, this city of 200,000 inhabitants, along with its single army base, have somehow managed to hold out against the head-chopping jihadi extremists clustered outside its gates.
LifeNews boasts that it is the only foreign news channel whose journalists have been able to penetrate into the besieged city and see with their own eyes what is going on.
Syrian Army Fights Back
Pegov reports that the blockaded soldiers of the Syrian army have to fight back the extremists attacks not just once a day, but several times each day.
The terrorists are hunkered in on the East Bank of the Euphrates River; this map shows how the river cuts through Iraq and Syria. Syrian government forces control the West Bank of the Euphrates. It is impossible to enter or leave the city of Deir ez-Zor by automobile, or even tank. The only way in: by air. The single airport is controlled by the Syrian military, which regularly fly bombing sorties against the terrorists. Therefore, it is logical that the primary military goal of the terrorists is to seize that airport [corresponding to around 1:08 minutes in the LifeNews video]. On a daily basis the terrorists’ raids approach so close, that their black Al-Qaeda banners can be seen through the reporter’s telephoto lens [2:21 minutes in]. The terrorists also attempt to shoot down Syrian planes, using cannons and RPG’s. According to Pegov, quoting a Syrian pilot named Hassam [Hassam’s interview can be seen at 1:40 minutes in the video], the ISIS terrorists even use a special type of “Degtarev” large-calibre machine gun called a ДШК, something from the 1930’s, in their attempts to shoot down Syrian planes.
A Syrian soldier named Samer [Samer’s interview can be seen at 2:54 minutes in] tells the reporter, pointing at the terrorists in the distance: “You can see how they are digging trenches in the direction of the airport. They are hunkering in, prepararing for their next attack against the airport. No matter how much we shoot them up, and you saw for yourself, we don’t allow them to move one inch. They have huge numbers of people to launch in the attack: We just mow down the first wave, and the second, up to the fifth wave, (and they keep on coming), and they count on the fact that we will run out of ammo eventually.”
Fortunately for the Syrian army, long-awaited help has arrived, to help lift the siege of Deir ez-Zor, namely Russian air support. Several days ago a series of pinpoint air strikes against the besiegers, noticeably weakened their ardor. Syrian Lieutenant-General Muhammed [General Muhammed can be seen at 3:44 minutes in], the Commander of the Garrison, who is responsible not only for the lives of his troops, but also for the lives of the peaceful citizens of the city, remarked approvingly to the reporter: “Four friendly Russian planes carried out four air strikes, according to the coordinates we provided. All of the targets were achieved: the bases and supplies of the terrorists. The strikes were precise and really helped us. If God is willing, then Syria will become the place where we together [with the Russians] shall bury ISIS.”