Pro-Assad forces attack residential areas of IS-held Deir ez-Zor

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Syrian man holding dead body of little girl who died amid air strikes by pro-Assad forces. File photo

ARA News

Deir ez-Zor, Syria – On Tuesday,  the Syrian eastern city of Deir ez-Zor, which fell under the control of the Islamic State (IS), was exposed to artillery fire by pro-regime military forces, local sources reported.

This came amid bombardment of the IS-held Military Airport of Deir ez-Zor, coinciding with clashes between IS militants and pro-Assad military forces.

Speaking to ARA News in Deir ez-Zor, media activist Karam Baaj said heavy shelling hit residential areas of the IS-held city, as several Grad rockets were dropped on the neighbourhood of Sheikh Yassin and al-Rushdiya district, causing major destruction in many buildings and mass displacement among civilians, who headed to other areas of the city amid a state of panic.

“Dozens of civilians were killed during the sudden attacks on Tuesday,” Baaj reported.

The pro-regime military forces also targeted the Jubaila and Hwaiqa neighbourhoods in central Deir ez-Zor, amid clashes with militants of the Islamic State on the outskirts of the city.

According to the same source, the clashes and shelling continued until Tuesday evening. “Only then could we move the dead bodies of the victims,” Baaj said. “Tens of victims were buried in the city’s main garden, as we were unable to reach the cemetery for fear of shelling.”

Meanwhile, civil rights activist Muthanna Mohaimeed told ARA News in Deir ez-Zor that the Syrian regime’s warplanes carried out several air raids on the town of Deir Mahimideh in the western countryside of Deir ez-Zor, resulting in the injury of several civilians, adding that the city of Mohassan in the eastern countryside saw similar raids.

On the other hand, activists reported that the IS militants executed three young men in the city of Mohassan on charges of apostasy earlier on Monday.

“The execution took place in the public square of the city,” a local activist, who preferred anonymity, told ARA News.

Deir ez-Zor province was controlled by extremists of the Islamic State in mid-July, 2014, after clashes with pro-Assad military forces and opposition fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

 

Reporting by: Adam Saleh

Source: ARA News

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