Smoke billows from the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour during an operation by Syrian government forces against Islamic State (IS) group jihadists on November 2, 2017. (AFP PHOTO)
DAMASCUS, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army fully captured the capital city of the eastern province of Deir al-Zour on Friday from the Islamic State (IS), a military source told Xinhua.
The Syrian army's control over the capital city of Deir al-Zour came after the troops and allied fighters captured the Huwaikah neighborhood, the last area under IS control, the source said on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, state news agency SANA reported the liberation of the Deir al-Zour city, saying the army is now mopping up the city to defuse explosive devices left by IS.
In September, the army broke IS' three-year siege on Deir al-Zour capital city, capturing key areas and continuing to attack the IS positions in the countryside of that key oil-rich province.
Liberating the city is the second major blow to the IS militants, after losing their de facto capital of Raqqa last month to the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Now, the Syrian army is fighting IS in the countryside of Deir al-Zour province, eyeing to recapture the key city of al-Bukamal, the last IS stronghold in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border, where the Iraqi military forces are closing in on the terror group in areas they are controlling on the Iraqi side of the border.
As for the SDF, this Kurdish-led group is advancing against IS in the northern and eastern countryside of Deir al-Zour.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, Talal Silo, the SDF spokesman, said the group aims to capture areas in Deir al-Zour on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.