Moving towards Deir ez-Zor, the Syrian army gained around eight kilometres per day. They eventually united with a brigade that had been trapped inside the city. The commander of those soldiers was Issam Zahreddine – known as the Lion of the Republican Guard. He had been in the city for the full three years. Zahreddine has a long record of military service, and has fought on several fronts in the Syrian Civil War.
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