US-backed militias seize key oil field in east Syria — SDF

Above, heavily damaged buildings in Raqqa after a Kurdish-led force expelled Daesh fighters from the northern Syrian city. (AFP)
Updated 22 October 2017
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US-backed militias seize key oil field in east Syria — SDF

BEIRU: US-backed militias said they captured a major oil field in Deir Ezzor province on Sunday, pressing their offensive against Daesh fighters in eastern Syria.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said they gained control of Al-Omar oil field, one of Syria’s largest, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river.
With air strikes and special forces from the US-led coalition, the SDF has been battling Daesh in oil-rich Deir Ezzor, bordering Iraq. The SDF alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias has been focused on territory east of the river, which bisects the province.
The Syrian army, with Russian air power and Iran-backed militias, has been waging its own separate offensive against Daesh militants, mostly to the west of the river.
The US-led coalition and the Russian military have been holding deconfliction meetings — to prevent clashes between planes and troops — though the offensives have sometimes come into conflict.
Al-Omar oil field lies some 10 kilometers north of the town of Al-Mayadin, which government forces and their allies took earlier this month.


Protesters, police scuffle in anti-tax protests in Jordan

Updated 27 min 36 sec ago
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Protesters, police scuffle in anti-tax protests in Jordan

  • The police fired several rounds of tear gas, as protesters dropped to the ground in coughing fits
  • Jordan’s economy has been hit by the fallout from years of conflict in neighboring Syria and Iraq

AMMAN, Jordan: Hundreds of people have protested in Jordan’s capital against the government’s planned tax increases and high youth unemployment.
Some protesters near the prime minister’s office scuffled with riot police who fired several rounds of tear gas. Several people dropped to the ground in coughing fits.
It marked the first time police and protesters clashed since regular Thursday night protests resumed several weeks ago.
Previous demonstrations in the spring forced the resignation of then-Prime Minister Hani Mulki who was replaced by economist Omar Razzaz.
Razzaz promised a more inclusive style of governing, but is also under pressure from international lenders to cut the government’s large deficit.
Jordan’s economy has been hit by the fallout from years of conflict in neighboring Syria and Iraq, including trade disruptions and an influx of refugees.