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Syrian Democratic Forces claim they captured country's largest oilfield from Isis

23 October 2017

Syria's largest oil field was seized from the Islamic State terror group on Sunday by the USA -led coalition, dealing another blow to the extremist group after the loss of its de-facto capital last week.

Kurds and Arabs fighting under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces captured the al-Omar oil field in Deir al-Zour province after charging about 60 miles through the desert and launching a surprise assault, according to USA military and SDF officials. "Our forces managed to liberate the fields without notable damage", said Lilwa al-Abdallah, spokeswoman for the offensive in Deir Ezzor province.

The Islamic State group has lost most of the territory it once held in Syria and neighbouring Iraq.

The Lebanese militant group is fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces.

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"The Syrian army is just about a few kilometres away from the same oilfield that was captured on Sunday", an Al Jazeera reporter said and cautioned: "So we're talking about still a very delicate situation facing the SDF as they are trying to capture more territory from Isis".

The surprise assault was meant to leave the militant group no time to sabotage the oil field's infrastructure, as it typically does when retreating from important areas, Dillon said. Its current potential is unknown, following a series of strikes on ISIS-held oil facilities by the USA -led coalition.

With US-led jets and special forces, the SDF has been battling in Deir Ezzor bordering Iraq. Syrian troops, backed by Russian warplanes and Iranian-sponsored militias, have retaken almost all of the provincial capital of Deir el-Zour, as well as the town of Mayadeen, another IS stronghold.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters ride atop of military vehicle as they celebrate victory in Raqqa, Syria, October 17, 2017. SDF fighters would now move to the frontlines in Deir Ezzor, speeding up the battle in eastern Syria.

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Last month, the Kurdish-led militias captured a major natural gas field upstream of Sunday's advance.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said pro-government forces have retreated from the area around the oil field after coming under heavy fire from Islamic State militants.

Al-Omar oil field lies some 10 km (6.21 miles) north of the town of al-Mayadin, which government troops and their allies took earlier this month. The militants made some gains around Al Mayadin, the Britain-based monitor said.

Any attack by the Islamic State militants there was a "desperate attempt", the source said.

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The regime is "attacking, hitting Daesh positions.and advancing", the source said.

Syrian Democratic Forces claim they captured country's largest oilfield from Isis