BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:35 P.M.) – The map above shows the current situation in and around the strategic city of Deir Ezzor as of midday 17 September.
Over the last 48 hours the Syrian Arab Army has liberated two major towns to both the north and south of Deir Ezzor city, these being Ayyash and Jafrah respectively.
In achieving this, Syrian Army forces have de facto besieged ISIS militants inside Deir Ezzor as far as land-based routes into and out of the city allow. Now the only real escape route open for Islamic State fighters is east across the Euphrates River where Kurdish-led forces are rapidly completing their own pincer movement.
Given the sheer depth of their encirclement, ISIS militants are unlikely to break the siege that has been forged around them by pro-government forces.