Kurdish-led forces retake largest oil field from Islamic State in eastern Syria
DEIR Al-ZOR, Syria (Kurdistan 24) – The US-backed Syrian Kurdish-Arab alliance on Sunday claimed to have seized Syria’s largest oil field from the Islamic State (IS) in Deir al-Zor province.
In an online statement, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), of which the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) is a leading component, declared they had launched an assault on a group of IS militants in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zor province and gained control of a number of fields.
“On Sunday early morning, our forces surprised the mercenaries [of IS], and did not give them the opportunity to commit subversive acts in the areas they leave,” Lilwa Al-Abdalla, the spokesperson of the Deir al-Zor operation, said.
“Our forces succeeded in liberating the Omar fields from the jihadists and driving them out of the fields without causing any damage,” she added.
The SDF statement did not provide further details about the operation to recapture the fields.
Omar oil field, located in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zor, is one of the largest oil fields in Syria. Its pre-war production in Syria reached 30,000 barrels per day.
The field's output gradually declined due to frequent air strikes from the US-led coalition.
In recent weeks, the SDF raced the Syrian regime forces for control of the field, the latter having reached the field's southern outskirts in the past two days.
The Omar field is located on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, about 10 kilometers east of the city of Mayadim, which was recovered by regime forces a week ago.
Editing by G.H. Renaud