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U.S.-Backed Forces, ISIS Clash Over Oil-Rich Areas In Syria

Clashes between Islamic State militants and U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continue in eastern Syria, where the Islamist terrorists try to keep control over an oil-rich area between the provinces of Al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor, Syrian news outlet Zaman Al Wasl reports, quoting activists.

The SDF, which consists of Kurdish and Arab militias, seized 16 villages from ISIS in the area in two weeks—backed by international air strikes—including villages near the town of Markada, the last stronghold of the Islamic State in the Al-Hasakah province, according to Zaman Al Wasl.

The war in the eastern part of Syria is now over the oil-rich areas in the region, not only to push ISIS out of it, according to activists who say that the Islamist militants still control a few of the oil fields there.

Despite a major offensive by Kurdish forces since June, five towns east of the Euphrates River are still under ISIS control.

Last week, reports had it that Islamic State militants recaptured two oil fields in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region in Syria.

According to Turkey-based Syrian news agency Qasioun news, the Islamist militants advanced to the Sayyad and Dahash oil fields in the Deir Ezzor area after a sudden attack on the 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.

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 published at the beginning of July.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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