Syria government: ISIS grip on Syria to end by year’s end; US presence illegal

A forceful assault against ISIS terrorists by Syrian government forces in the city of Deir al-Zour in eastern Syria has been raging since early September, and the Syrian army is now claiming it expects to rid the area of pockets of terrorist in the coming days.

According to one Syrian Army officer in an interview with RT News, the city of Deir ez-Zor will be liberated in no longer than a week. “And we’ll free some of the suburbs too,” he says. “The cost will undoubtedly be high… it’s a challenging battleground. From dense urban areas – to lush river banks and even trenches.”

Battles coming to an end

Syria’s foreign minister, Walid Muallem, told RT Arabic the main battles in Syria are coming to an end. “Therefore, we are completing the last chapter in the history of the crisis,” he said.  “The Syrian state intends to liberate every inch of our country from terrorists. If we manage to do this before the end of this year, then we will only be happy about it.”

Since midweek, the army has been focusing its efforts on pushing back ISIS fighters in Hweijet al-Saker area, al-Hweiqa, al-Arddi, Khassarat and Kanamat and al-Husseinia village to the northeast of Deir Ez-zor.

US will have to go

When the country is free of ISIS terrorists, Syria will confront how to handle ridding itself of the US presence, which Muallem claims is a violation of the country’s sovereignty.

“Americans came to us, not the other way around,” he told RT Arabic. “That is why we advocate sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Syria. We will act according to these principles.”

How to go about this remains to be seen. “First of all, we will knock on every diplomatic door, because American military presence in Syria is illegal,” Muallem says. “When diplomacy will become powerless, then we will examine different options.