In line with UN World Food Program efforts in Syria, the Russian military confirmed on Sunday that daily humanitarian cargo drops would now be made to the besieged city of Deir Ezzor where an estimated 100.000 Syrians civilians remain surrounded by ISIS on the Euphrates, deep within the ISIS caliphate.
Residents of the city are subject to almost daily ISIS infiltration attempts, often involving multiple suicide bombers and vehicle based IEDs. Nevertheless, ISIS efforts to fully capture the city have been denied by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) for the third year running now.
The situation in the Syrian desert city of Deir Ezzor has often been compared to Russia’s Leningrad: a besieged, largely Sunni, government enclave, which has only been able to survive due to the strict discipline imposed by commander-in-chief, Issam Zahreddine.
Many expected the recent liberation of Palmyra to be the precursor for an operation to break the siege of Deir Ezzor, and whilst such an operation is still in the works, the Aleppo and Latakia offensives of Jabhat Al-Nusra and their rebel comrades have forced the Syrian Government to redeploy many of its troops these frontlines.
Remarkably, the actions of Islamist groups seem to have inadvertently assisted ISIS and prolonged the suffering of civilians who are either living under ISIS’s rule, or must live in its looming threat.
Nevertheless, Russian cargo planes have now begun the delivery of food and medical supplies, while SAA soldiers continue to man the government-held districts and checkpoints of Deir Ezzor city.