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Friday 29th
posted by James Tweedie in World

Isis launched a counteroffensive against government troops and US-backed militias in eastern Syria yesterday.

The death cult claimed to have recaptured the towns of al-Shoula and Bi’r Ghabaghib, both recently taken by the army, in an attack spearheaded by suicide car bombers.

If true, that would mean Isis had cut the main road to Deir Ezzor city, where the government forces lifted a four-year siege this month.

Isis further claimed to have taken two Russian troops and a Syrian soldier prisoner.

There was no confirmation of the Isis claims from either Damascus or Moscow.

Isis launched a similar attack in al-Suwar, east of Deir Ezzor, driving US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) guerillas from half of the town they were on the verge of taking.

The counterattack did not stop the Syrian army from surrounding the last Isis-occupied districts of Deir Ezzor, clearing most of Saker Island in the River Euphrates and capturing Hatlah on the far side.

In Damascus, the Foreign Ministry once again urged the United Nations to act against the US-led coalition’s continued air raids on Syrian civilians and infrastructure.

The ministry said that the coalition had dropped banned white phosphorus on al-Sout in Deir Ezzor on Wednesday, killing residents.

A raid on Markada, south of Hasakeh, on Tuesday killed two Syrian women and six members of an Iraqi refugee family from Mosul.

In an interview with RT Arabic on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said the US military presence in Syria was “illegal.”

Turning to the demand of the Kurdish-dominated SDF for regional autonomy, he said: “Negotiations and a dialogue are possible on the matter” — but only once Isis has been defeated.