A Syrian pro-government forces member walks past an upside-down tank in the Jamiyet al-Ruwad neighborhood, on the northern outskirts of Deir al-Zor, on Sept. 14, 2017, during their ongoing battle against Daesh (ISIS). (AFP/George OURFALIAN)
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Syrian troops battling Daesh (ISIS) crossed to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in Deir al-Zor on Monday, threatening a potential standoff with the U.S.-backed forces operating there.The crossing came nearly two weeks after the Russia-backed Syrian troops breached a three-year siege on their troops in the city. Russia, which has provided crucial air support to Assad's forces, announced the crossing of the river, saying in a statement that the troops used a pontoon bridge, as well as Syrian elite troops.Rami Abdurrahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, confirmed the crossing, which he said was preceded by intense aerial bombing on the eastern bank. He said the government forces are now in Marrat, battling Daesh militants in Hatlah to the north.
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