Syrian troops recapture city of Mayadeen from IS
DAMASCUS - Syrian troops and allied forces captured the city of Mayadeen from the Islamic State group on Saturday, state media said, in the latest blow to the jihadist group.
"Units of our armed forces, in cooperation with allied forces, have regained control of the city of Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor, killing a large number of terrorists and destroying their weapons," state media said, citing a military source.
"Our units are chasing down remaining members of Daesh fleeing the city amid a collapse in their ranks, and the engineering units are removing mines and explosives planted by the terrorists in the streets and square of the city," the source added.
The capture comes despite IS fighters managing last week to push advancing troops out of the eastern city, just two days after they entered it.
A renewed push by the Russian-backed Syrian troops saw them reenter the city, and sever the main road leading from it to the IS stronghold of Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border to the east.
The advance left IS fighters in the city with the Euphrates river as their only route to escape.
Mayadeen's loss is the latest in a string of blows for IS, which is on the verge of losing its former de facto Syrian capital Raqa to the US-backed fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces.
The jihadists' hold on Deir Ezzor province is also crumbling in the face of parallel regime and SDF assaults.
In September, Syrian troops broke an IS siege of nearly three years on government-held parts of the provincial capital.
And on Saturday, state news agency SANA reported that Syrian soldiers had now encircled remaining IS positions in the city after capturing new areas east of the Euphrates river.
In neighbouring Iraq, IS has also lost almost all of its territory, holding now just a stretch of the Euphrates valley abutting the Syrian border.