ISIL militants capture Syrian gas field in east Homs

ISIL militants capture Syrian gas field in east Homs
Thu Jul 17, 2014 19:56:01

Militants from the so-called Islamic state of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) have seized a Syrian gas field and killed at least 23 people.

ISIL has been making rapid gains by seizing territory from rival militant groups using weaponry brought in from Iraq, where last month it managed to take large areas from army forces.

The group launched an attack against the Shaar gas field east of Homs on Thursday morning, killing at least 23 of the men guarding it in a "wide assault" from several directions, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Observatory, which monitors violence in Syria through a network of spies in the country, quoted "trusted sources" as saying 340 other guards, army forces and pro-government civilians had been taken prisoner, wounded or killed.

It was not immediately possible to verify the report while Syrian state media made no mention of the attack.

About 30 had managed to escape to the nearby Hajjar field, the Observatory report added.

ISIL has previously taken control of oil fields in Iraq as well as in Syria's eastern Deir al-Zor province. The group was once the Iraqi affiliate of Al-Qaeda, but Al-Qaeda disowned it in February after tensions mounted over its expansion into Syria.

ISIL has declared a "caliphate" in the areas where it operates in Iraq and Syria, which include the Syrian city of Raqqa as well as Iraq's Mosul.

The Observatory says more than 170,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict, which started as a peaceful protest movement in 2011 but descended into a multifaceted war after intervention from foreign countries.


string(1446) "[{"id":"1608720","sort":"3232170","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/07/06/alalam_635402815157829849_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"ISIL expells 60,000 residents from 3 east Syria towns"} ,{"id":"1608846","sort":"3232171","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/07/07/alalam_635403312335086495_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"UK radicals flock to Syria, vow to return with ISIL flag"} ,{"id":"1609118","sort":"3232172","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/07/08/alalam_635404061186100076_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Report: Cars stolen in Turkey used by ISIL in Syria, Iraq"} ,{"id":"1610346","sort":"3232173","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/07/11/alalam_635407077385505783_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"‘Appetites of ISIL extend far beyond Iraq & Syria’"} ,{"id":"1610465","sort":"3232174","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/07/12/alalam_635407537943847494_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"1,000 West-backed rebels join ISIL in Syria war"} ,{"id":"1611193","sort":"3232175","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/07/14/alalam_635409440785980900_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Defector exposes heinous ISIL tactics in Iraq, Syria"} ,{"id":"1612041","sort":"3232176","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/07/16/alalam_635411108004404857_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"200 Moroccan ISIL terrorists killed in Iraq and Syria"} ,{"id":"1612514","sort":"3232177","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/07/17/alalam_635412199446236984_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"West sends huge aid to ISIL in Syria, helping it bolster its rule: Report"} ]"