Pro-US forces seize key oil field from IS
BEIRUT — US-backed forces on Sunday said that they had captured Syria’s largest oil field from the Islamic State (IS) group.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed coalition in a race with Russian-backed Syrian troops to seize parts of the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province, said it was in full control of the Al-Omar field.
The SDF, which has already driven IS from Deir el-Zour’s main natural gas field and smaller oil fields, said government forces were just 3 kilometers away from the fields.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said progovernment forces had retreated from the area around Al-Omar field after coming under heavy fire from IS militants.
Earlier this month, progovernment forces seized the town of Mayadeen, just across the Euphrates River.
IS captured Al-Omar in 2014, when the group swept across large areas in Syria and neighboring Iraq. The field was estimated to produce around 9,000 barrels a day, making it a key source of revenue for the extremists.
Its current potential is unknown, following a series of strikes on IS-held oil facilities by the US-led coalition.
IS has suffered a series of major setbacks in recent months, including the loss of the Syrian city of Raqqa, once the extremists’ self-styled capital, and the Iraqi city of Mosul. Most of the territory the group once held has been seized by an array of Syrian and Iraqi forces.
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