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Islamic State militants recaptured on Monday two oil fields in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region in Syria, a Turkey-based Syrian news agency reported on Tuesday.
According to Qasioun news, the Islamist militants advanced to the Sayyad and Dahash oil fields in the Deir Ezzor area after a sudden attack on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Harijy area in the northern part of Deir Ezzor.
ISIS has tried to recapture several areas in the region, but this, according to Qasioun news, is the first time that the Islamic State militants have advanced to the northern countryside of the Deir Ezzor region.
In November last year, the Syrian regime said it had liberated the city of Deir Ezzour from Islamic State, cutting off an important source of oil revenues for the terrorist group from the oil fields in the region.
A week before that, U.S.-backed Kurdish-dominated militia the Syrian Democratic Forces wrested control over the al-Omar oil field in eastern Syria from the Islamic State. Al-Omar is Syria’s largest oil field and produced 30,000 bpd before the civil war, but after 2011, it fell into the hands of Islamic State, which was at one point making US$5.1 million in monthly oil sale revenues on the black market. In 2015, the U.S.-backed coalition destroyed the field.
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Islamic State was selling oil and gas to the Syrian regime and to Turkey, while the militants were ruling over large areas in Syria and Iraq over the past three years, a senior ISIS commander said in an interview with the Kurdistan 24 news outlet last week.
“Oil and gas obtained by the Islamic State was sold to Turkey and the Syrian regime,” Razeek Radeek Maksimo, an Azerbaijani national and formerly senior ISIS commander, told Kurdistan 24 from a prison in Rojava where he is being held by Syrian Kurdish authorities.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.