BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:45 P.M.) – Major General Issam Zahreddine was killed at Saqr Island in Deir Ezzor, Wednesday, while conducting a special mission with the 104th Airborne Brigade of the Republican Guard.
The general’s military convoy struck a mine planted by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) at Saqr Island during the afternoon hours on Wednesday.
Al-Masdar has obtained footage of one General Zahreddine’s last interviews before his untimely death – please see below:
SOT, Issam Zahreddine, Major General of the Syrian Republican Guard (Arabic): “This decision by the leaders to open the roads and meet with the forces defending Deir ez-Zor. The forces have advanced on various fronts; the direction from rural Aleppo, in the direction of rural Raqqa and the direction of Deir ez-Zor. The second frontline, from the direction of Palmyra, Sukhna, Deir ez-Zor, the third front from al-Badiya, […] is in the direction of also, Deir-ez-Zor. The front we are at right now is the one from Raqqa and Aleppo. The forces have reached to 2.5 kilometres from the point we are at right now. Now, the airplanes are striking the strongholds of the militants, in order to secure the entrance of the fighters and to meet with the forces defending Deir ez-Zor.”
SOT, Issam Zahreddine, Major General of the Syrian Republican Guard (Arabic): “In short, as for Deir ez-Zor, and over the past while, we were like an island in the middle of an ocean, totally isolated. The closest city is Homs, which is more than 250 kilometres away. Yet, despite the siege by Daesh, and the scarcity of all needs of survival, water, electricity, food, the army and the friendly forces persevered in defending Deir ez-Zor, in addition to the perseverance of the residents of Deir ez-Zor, which gave more incentive [for the army] to protect Deir Ez-Zor even more. Also, Daesh used over the past years, on all fronts and directions, whether from the north […] or the west […], or the east […], or other directions, they have tried with all means, using planted cars in an extensive way, in addition to repetitive attacks around d the clock, despite all of this the army perceived and destroyed Daesh and their dreams over the entrances of Deir Ez-Zor.”