Al-Mayadeen a Ghost Town After Syrian Forces Capture from Islamic State

Al-Mayadeen a Ghost Town After Syrian Forces Capture from Islamic State

Laila al-Abdullah, a spokeswoman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, said that the group had "liberated" the oil field in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, driving ISIS fighters "out of the fields with little damage" on Sunday.

Now, Deutsche Welle notes, everyone will be waiting for the reaction of the Syrian government forces and their Russian and Iranian allies: the Syrian government has vowed to retake all of Deir Ezzor from the Islamic State.

It said the SDF's advance in al-Omar came after government forces withdrew from the area following an attack by ISIL fighters. The SDF said regime forces are 3 km away from the field.Regime troops, backed by Russian warplanes and Iranian-sponsored militias, have retaken almost all of the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor, as well as the town of Mayadeen, which is across the Euphrates River from Al-Omar oil field.

Last month, the SDF said it had captured the Conoco gas field and plant in Deir Az Zor.

The spokesman for the USA -led coalition fighting Islamic State militants says contacts with Russian Federation are underway to avoid friction on the ground between US -allied fighters and Syrian troops backed by Moscow around Syria's largest oil field, coveted by both sides.

Syrian proven oil reserves were estimated at 2.5 billion barrels in 2010.

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As IS advanced in Syria, it seized control of most of Syria's oil fields and made petroleum a major earner for the militant group, which sold it on the black market to other insurgents and the Syrian government.

Al-Manar TV, operated by Lebanon's Hezbollah, said the fight for Al-Omar was still underway and denied the SDF's claim to have captured it.

A senior Syrian official says the killing of more than 60 civilians in a town taken back by government troops from Islamic State militants is a "shocking massacre".

Pro-government media is reporting that Syrian troops have taken up a position allowing them to fire down on a supply route between an Islamic State-held town on the Iraqi border and a nearby desert outpost.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

An estimated 6,500 IS fighters remain in eastern Syria and western Iraq, many concentrated along the Euphrates River valley straddling the border, the US military said last week.

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