Residents of Deir ez-Zor expressed their joy on Monday following news that the self-proclaimed Islamic State’s (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) siege of the city was close to breaking.
Children as well as their parents took to the streets, waving Syrian flags and chanting slogans in support of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and President Bashar al-Assad.
“Good to see our forces arriving safely from all directions. We have been under siege for four or five years,” one resident said.
Another resident commented, “Our happiness today is indescribable, for it is huge. We have been waiting for the army for a long time.”
On Sunday, The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) released the footage showing their advance towards Deir ez-Zor. SAA units alongside allied fighters advanced with tanks and helicopters pushed IS back through the desert, some ten kilometres (6.21 miles) west of the city.
Deir ez-Zor has been under siege by IS since the group launched an offensive on the city in May 2015. Some 125,000 civilians reportedly live in the city under dire humanitarian conditions.