October 18, 2017 / 11:28 AM / 2 years ago

Head of Syrian army brigade besieged in Deir al-Zor dies - media unit

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A Syrian army general who led a brigade besieged for three years by Islamic State in Deir al-Zor city has died, pro-Syrian government media outlets said on Wednesday.

Major General Issam Zahreddine, head of the 104 Brigade of the Syrian Republican Guard, was killed by a mine in the city, a military media unit allied to Hezbollah said.

Syrian radio station Sham FM and Lebanese pro-Syrian government TV stations al-Manar and al-mayadeen also reported his death.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah has provided military support to the Syrian government during Syria’s more than six-year-long war.

Syrian forces, backed by Russian military and Iran-backed militias, lifted the siege in early September. Islamic State has lost ground rapidly in Syria’s eastern province of Deir al-Zor in recent weeks.

Reporting by Lisa Barrington; editing by John Stonestreet

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