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.


Boat carrying Syrian refugees sinks off Lebanon, most rescued

Updated 22 September 2018
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Boat carrying Syrian refugees sinks off Lebanon, most rescued

  • The boat was ferrying the refugees illegally to Cyprus
  • Most were rescued by the Lebanese army but at least one child drowned

BEIRUT: A boat with around three dozen Syrian refugees on board sank off the coast of Lebanon on Saturday and most were rescued by the Lebanese army but at least one child drowned, security sources said.
The boat was ferrying the refugees illegally to Cyprus, some 180 km (110 miles) away, when it foundered off the coast of northern Lebanon, the sources said. Three more of the people on boat were in a serious condition in hospital.
Lebanon is hosting around 1 million registered refugees from Syria’s civil war, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR. The Lebanese government puts the figure at around 1.5 million.