Syria: 10 oilfield workers killed in attack blamed on IS | Syria: the spiral of war

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An oil facility in the Deir Ezzor area, where the attack took place.

The official SANA news agency reported that 10 workers were killed and at least two injured “in a terrorist attack targeting three buses carrying employees” of an oil field. The attack is blamed on the Islamic State (IS) group.

The attack in the morning targeted buses carrying workers from the Al-Taym field west of Deir Ezzor, a desert region where the jihadists have entrenched themselves after being driven from all their strongholds in Syria in 2019.

The field in question is under the authority of the regime in eastern Syria.

According to Syrian Oil Minister Bassam Tohmé, one of the buses was hit by a rocket.

In December 2021, ISIS launched a similar attack, killing 10 workers at the al-Kharata oil field, southeast of Deir Ezzor.

Large numbers of jihadists have taken refuge in the badia (desert), which stretches from the central Syrian province of Homs to the eastern border with Iraq, passing through the province of Deir Ezzor.

Since early December, ISIS has increased attacks in badia, mainly targeting regime forces and pro-Iranian groups who attack them. are allies.

Syria is fragmented by the war that started in 2011. Bashar Al-Assad's regime has taken over most of the territory, but Syrian Kurdish forces, spearheading the fight against ISIS, control large areas of the north and the northeast of the country.

In their fight against ISIS, the Kurds are being aided by a US-led international anti-jihadist coalition that is deploying troops in northern Syria.

On Thursday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, dominated by Kurdish fighters) announced that it had launched an operation with the participation of the international coalition in several regions, including those of Al-Hol and Al-Hassak√©, aimed drive out ISIS terrorist cells […] from areas targeted by recent terrorist attacks.

The SDF then reported the arrest of 52 jihadists and collaborators who were hiding in residential areas, according to a press release.

On Monday, IS claimed responsibility for an attack on the SDF headquarters in Raqa, in which six members were killed. The jihadist group claimed to want to avenge its comrades detained by Kurdish forces.

Despite its defeat and the blows inflicted by the Kurds and the coalition, IS still manages to launch attacks.

Several foreign powers are involved in the war in Syria, where nearly half a million people have been killed since 2011.

Ally of the Assad regime, which it helps militarily, Russia on Wednesday brought together the Syrian and Turkish defense ministers after a freeze between the two countries since 2011.

According to analysts , Moscow plays a key role in the rapprochement between Damascus and Ankara, united by a common adversary represented by Kurdish fighters.

A neighbor of Syria, Turkey has been since 2011 the most important political and military supporter of the Syrian opposition. It also deploys troops in northern Syria alongside Syrian rebels who are loyal to it.

On Friday, hundreds of Syrians demonstrated in towns controlled by pro-Ankara rebels in Al-Bab (north) and Idleb (north-west) to denounce the Syrian- Turkey and affirm their rejection of any reconciliation with the regime.

The same day, the Syrian Democratic Council, the political arm of the SDF, also criticized the meeting, calling on the Syrians to face this alliance.

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