IS now controls all of Syria’s main oil fields

1 / 2
2 / 2
Updated 05 July 2014

IS now controls all of Syria’s main oil fields

BEIRUT: Militants seized an eastern Syrian oil field early Friday as they try to consolidate their control of an area along the length of the Euphrates river stretching through Syria and Iraq.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that fighters from the Islamic State (IS) group seized the Al-Tanak oil field early Friday. Another group, the activist collective of Deir El-Zor, also reported the seizure.
The field is in the eastern Syrian province of Deir El-Zor, near Iraq, and it followed the IS group’s seizure of Syria’s largest oil field on Thursday. Both oil fields were taken from other rebel groups.
IS now fully controls all of Syria’s main oil and gas fields, which are located in Deir el-Zour Province next to Iraq, a monitoring group said.
IS declared a “caliphate” in areas it controls in Syria and Iraq, where it is spearheading an offensive against government troops.
“IS took control of the Tanak oil field, located in the Sheiytat desert area in the east of Deir el-Zour Province,” late Thursday after rival rebels withdrew, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The group is led by an ambitious Iraqi militant known as Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who this week declared the establishment of a state, or caliphate, in the lands it has seized in Syria and Iraq.
It proclaimed Al-Baghdadi the head of its new self-styled state and demanded that all Muslims pledge allegiance to him.
Syria’s uprising began in March 2011 as largely peaceful demonstrations against President Bashar Assad’s rule. It escalated into an armed revolt after some opposition supporters took up arms to fight a brutal government crackdown on dissent.
That then turned into a civil war that has claimed more than 160,000 lives, about a third of them civilians, according to opposition activists. Militants also entered Syria during the upheaval of conflict, seizing territory claimed by armed rebels, and ultimately becoming the IS group.
The conflict has spilled over into Lebanon and Syria, generating a huge wave of refugees.
On Friday, a Syrian warplane carried out three airstrikes in an area about 7 km within Lebanese territory, killing a 12-year-old boy, a police official said.
The airstrikes occurred near the northeastern town of Arsal. One impacted near a jeep, killing a boy and wounding the rest of his family while on their way to pick cherries. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t allowed to speak to the media.
Al-Manar, a television station affiliated with the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, said the strikes targeted gunmen.
Syrian warplanes occasionally strike inside Lebanon, with supporters claiming they target gunmen. Syria’s conflict, now in its fourth year, has seeped into Lebanon with militants carrying out bomb attacks against Shiite and Hezbollah areas.


Turkey, Russia seal deal for Karabakh ‘peacekeeping center’

Updated 13 min 2 sec ago

Turkey, Russia seal deal for Karabakh ‘peacekeeping center’

  • The deal comes after days of talks between Turkish and Russian officials about how the two regional powers would jointly implement a Moscow-brokered cease-fire
  • Technical details for setting up the joint center were concluded and an agreement was signed

ANKARA: Turkey and Russia have agreed to monitor a truce over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region from a joint peacekeeping center, Ankara’s defense ministry said on Tuesday.
The deal comes after days of talks between Turkish and Russian officials about how the two regional powers would jointly implement a Moscow-brokered cease-fire signed this month between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Technical details for setting up the joint center were concluded and an agreement was signed, the defense ministry said in a statement, adding that it would begin work “as soon as possible.”
Turkey is a staunch ally of Azerbaijan and has fervently defended its right to take back the Nagorno-Karabakh lands Baku lost to ethnic Armenian separatists in a 1988-94 war.
The truce deal ended more than six weeks of fighting that claimed more than 1,400 lives and saw ethnic Armenians agree to withdraw from large parts of the contested region of Azerbaijan.
The Turkish parliament voted this month to deploy a mission to “establish a joint center with Russia and to carry out the center’s activities.”
The deployment is set to last a year and its size will be determined by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Russia has said repeatedly that Turkey will have no troops on the ground under the truce deal’s terms.