BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:35 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has reportedly liberated the last town that stands between besieged pro-government forces in Deir Ezzor and eastbound army relief forces attempting to lift the siege on the city.
Several hours ago, reports came in that the strategic crossroad town of Ash-Shula was liberated, bringing vanguard SAA units advancing along the M20 highway to within 25 kilometers of the Panorama area.
Despite numerous reports that Ash-Shula was secured yesterday, this was actually not the case as the Tiger Forces troops who advanced on it decided to set up positions on the northern outskirts of the town and not enter into it.
Whilst it is currently unconfirmed which Syrian Army unit liberated Ash-Shula, with the possibilities being either the Tiger Forces of the 5th Assault Corps, it is most likely the case that it was the later (5th Assault Corps) who in fact secured the town since it is reported that SAA units heading along the M20 highway were the ones to enter it.
In any case, the Tiger Forces held fire control over the town at Mount Neerman since yesterday.
Further north, the SAA is reportedly less than 2 kilometers away from reaching local Deir Ezzor forces at the 137th Brigade Base.