US-allied forces have captured Syria’s largest oil field from the Islamic State group.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who are in a race with Russian-backed Syrian government forces to seize parts of the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province, said they are in full control of the Al-Omar field.
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.
The SDF says government forces are two miles away from the oil fields.
The Islamic State group has lost most of the territory it once held in Syria and neighbouring Iraq.
Earlier this month, pro-government forces seized the town of Mayadeen, justacross the Euphrates River.
IS captured Al-Omar in 2014, when the group swept across large areas in Syria and neighbouring Iraq.
The field was estimated to produce around 9,000 barrels a day, making it a key source of revenue for the extremists. Its current potential is unknown following a series of strikes on IS-held oil facilities by the US-led coalition.
Al-Manar TV, operated by Hezbollah, said the fight for Al-Omar was still under way and denied the SDF’s claim to have captured it. The Lebanese militant group is fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.
IS has suffered a series of major setbacks in recent months, including the loss of the Syrian city of Raqqa, once the extremists’ self-styled capital, and the Iraqi city of Mosul.
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