U.S-allied Forces in Syria Retake Country's Largest Oil Field From ISIS

Another in a long string of setbacks for ISIS in recent months

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
July 22, 2017: Arab and Kurdish fighters with U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces against ISIS.
July 22, 2017: Arab and Kurdish fighters with U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces against ISIS.Credit: Hussein Malla/AP

U.S-allied forces said Sunday they have captured Syria's largest oil field from the Islamic State group.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who are in a race with Russian-backed Syrian troops to seize parts of the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province, said they are in full control of the Al-Omar field.

The SDF has already driven the Islamic State from Deir el-Zour's main natural gas field and smaller oil fields. It says government forces are three kilometers (two miles) away from the fields.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says pro-government forces retreated from the area around Al-Omar field after coming under heavy fire from Islamic State militants. Earlier this month, pro-government forces seized the town of Mayadeen, just across the Euphrates River.

The Islamic State 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 Islamic State-held oil facilities by the U.S.-led coalition.

Al-Manar TV, operated by Hezbollah, said the fight for Al-Omar was still underway and denied the SDF's claim to have captured it. The Lebanese militant group is fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces.

The Islamic State 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.

Click the alert icon to follow topics: