Many dead as ISIL, Nusra militants clash over Syrian oil fields

Many dead as ISIL, Nusra militants clash over Syrian oil fields
Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:22:49

Militants from the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have clashed with other radical groups for control of oil facilities in Syria’s east.

Reports say it was unclear who controlled the Jafra oil field and nearby Conoco gas field in rural Deir al-Zor, but that both sides in the clashes had sustained casualties in the fighting.

Also in Deir al-Zor, the village of Tibni saw similar clashes that pitted ISIL against the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and extremist allies, with casualties reported on both sides.

The clashes over the oil facilities followed the takeover by the ISIL of a strategic village, Busaira, which overlooks several villages, the town of Mayadin and several oil fields.

ISIL had retreated from Busaira 45 days ago, reports said.

On Wednesday, fighting erupted in Busaira between the Nusra Front and members of a local tribe, when Nusra militants tried to arrest a former member of ISIL.

The man’s fellow tribesmen engaged in a firefight with the Nusra members, while other members of the tribe remained loyal to Nusra, which they have joined during Syria’s war.

The clashes killed seven Nusra members, including a commander and its explosives expert for Deir al-Zor province.

Two of the tribesmen were killed, and 18 Nusra militants were taken prisoner, it added.

In rural Hassakeh province, a Libyan member of ISIL was killed in fighting with the Nusra Front and extremist allies.

Meanwhile, ISIL militants clashed with the Kurdish YPG militia elsewhere in the province, with both sides suffering casualties.

ISIL has been engaged in simultaneous campaigns against Kurdish groups as well as against the Nusra Front, an array of extremist militias and the so-called Free Syrian Army.

BA/BA

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