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Syria’s army and its allies have repelled ISIS terrorist attacks at two oilfields in the oil-rich Homs area, Tehran-based Fars News Agency reported on Thursday, quoting a military source.
“The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) repulsed the ISIL terrorists' heavy attack on their positions in al-Mahr oilfield, killing and wounding tens of them and destroying their equipment and military vehicles,” according to the source.
Army troops, backed by the air force, also clashed with the ISIS militants near the al-Shaer oilfield, in a sign that the terrorists continue to fight to lay their hands on oil infrastructure so they can later use it to smuggle the crude.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Defense said that U.S. and coalition military forces airstrikes in Syria destroyed two ISIS oil tanker trucks and an oil pumpjack near Abu Kamal, as well as eight oil tanker trailers and an oil wellhead near Dayr Az Zawr.
In August, the army hit major gatherings of ISIS in the Homs area, and coalition airstrikes have wiped out more ISIS oil assets since. Last month, strikes near Dayr Az Zawr destroyed 55 ISIL oil tanker trucks and 13 supply routes.
While currently the major battle against ISIS is in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, which has been under the terrorists’ grip since 2014, the Syrian army and coalition forces are trying to deprive the terror group from a major source of its income—oil smuggling.
In neighboring Iraq, army advances against the Islamic State have managed to cut significantly the terrorists’ proceeds from smuggling oil. Since ISIS lost control of the Alas and Hamrin oilfields near Tikrit in April of this year, the group’s income has been declining by an additional US$1 million every day. The price for the smuggled oil, which once stood above US$6,000 a vehicle, has been reduced to US$2,000.
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.