A group of Syrian soldiers

Syrian forces advance on Daesh-held Dayr al-Zawr province

Press TV – Syrian army forces, supported by allied fighters, have reportedly managed to advance on the Daesh-held eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr for the first time since 2014 days after an Iranian missile strike against terrorist positions there.

Backed by pro-government forces, “the Syrian army entered Dayr al-Zawr Province from the southeast, near the Iraqi border,” the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Friday.

SOHR Head Rami Abdel Rahman noted that the Syrian forces had advanced eight kilometers into the province and were just 12 kilometers from the key T2 oil pump.

The Syrian forces now control part of Dayr al-Zawr city and a nearby military airport, but Daesh is in control of most of the provincial capital.

Earlier this month, the Syrian troops reached the eastern border with Iraq and they were reported to be in control of an 85-kilometer stretch of the frontier by Friday.

The fresh gains came less than a week after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) pounded Daesh headquarters in Dayr al-Zawr with six medium-range ballistic missiles fired from western Iran.

This handout picture provided by IRIB on June 18, 2017 shows Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) launching a missile from an undisclosed location in western Iran at Daesh terrorists in Syria. (Via AFP)

The missile attack killed more than 170 Takfiri terrorists and inflicted heavy damage on their equipment and systems, the IRGC said in statement. The strike was conducted in retaliation for the June 7 terror attacks in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Over the past few weeks, tensions have escalated in Syria between the government forces, the US and Russia.

In two occasions in June and May, US warplanes attacked Syrian military forces near the town of At-Tanf, claiming they posed a threat to US forces, an allegation rejected by Damascus.

Last week, a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian SU-22, which was conducting an operation against Daesh militants on the outskirts of the city of Raqqah.

The shootdown led Moscow to announce a halt to a hotline with the US meant to minimize incidents in Syrian airspace and vow to track US-led coalition aircraft in central Syria as “targets.”

Syrian forces advance in Homs, Damascus

Separately on Friday, drone footage showed smoke rising above the al-Waer district on the outskirt of Homs city, where fighting is underway between Syrian troops and terrorists. The pro-government forces recaptured Ard al-Washash, al-Waer Dam and Al-Waer Canyon region.

The Syrian fighters further retook almost the entire Ayn Tarma Valley in east Damascus and several sites in the southern part of the city such as al-Jisr neighborhood.

Bombing rips through Aleppo

In another development on Friday, a bomb blast hit the al-Furqan neighborhood of the city Aleppo, killing four people and wounding 30 others.

Aleppo police chief said the bomb was planted beside a trash bin, but media reports said the explosion was caused by a mortar fire.