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Drone Attacks Syrian Gas Field as Israel Conflict Escalates

In reports unconfirmed by the U.S. military, Syrian opposition figures claim that a possible Iran-backed group in Syria launched a drone attack on an oil facility and a U.S. military base in the country’s eastern region, as the Hamas-Israel conflict escalates.

While no casualties were reported, and details remain sparse, Europe-based Syrian opposition activist Omar Abu Layla has said that three explosive-laden drones hit the Conoco gas field in Deir el-Zour province on the border with Iraq, the Associated Press reports. 

The Syrian activist report was confirmed by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, in terms of the Conoco gas field strikes. 

Syria has the potential to become a major renewed conflict flashpoint as Iran threatens to rally the militias it backs in proxy venues. 

The Syria drone strikes come after a 24-hour run of drone attacks starting on Tuesday and targeting U.S. bases in Iraq following the Gaza hospital explosion, for which blame is still being apportioned and denied. 

In western Iraq, two drones hit the Asad airbase in Anbar province, which houses U.S. troops, while another drone targeted a base in northern Iraq, the Associated Press reported, citing U.S. Central Command. Damage was limited, with U.S. forces saying they had intercepted and destroyed two and damaged the third. Minor injuries were reported at the Asad airbase

Militia groups in Iraq backed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have vowed to target U.S. troops over Biden’s support for Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

These drone attacks took place while U.S. President Joe Biden was visiting Israel. 

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While Syrian oil is of no consequence to the markets, there is growing concern that Iraq, the second-largest crude oil producer of OPEC, could become engulfed in the fallout from the Hamas-Israel conflict. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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