MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The M-20 highway between Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor is a major transport artery, which would let the SAA will be able to quickly move troops, equipment, ammunition and food to the east of Syria.
On Saturday, the Syrian armed forces managed to secure the largest Daesh hotbed in Homs and the last significant citadel of terrorists on the way to the besieged city of Deir ez-Zor.
"Today we can say that everyone is focused, set up for the fight against the IS [Daesh]. Today there are such key points, like Deir ez-Zor, I would say, first and foremost, Deir-ez-Zor… It's such a basic point on the Euphrates, which would largely, if not ultimately, let us talk about the end of fight against the IS," Shoigu told Rossiya 24 broadcaster.
Deir ez-Zor, located on the shores of the Euphrates River to the northeast of Damascus, and a military airfield near the city have been besieged by Daesh for over three years, with food and ammunition only being delivered by air.