Al-Mayadeen a Ghost Town After Syrian Forces Capture from Islamic State

Members of the US-backed SDF have made more gains against IS

Al-Omar is Syria's largest oil field and produced 30,000 bpd before the civil war, but after 2011, it fell into the hands of Islamic State, which was at one point making US$5.1 million in monthly oil sale revenues on the black market. The condition of the field, which has been controlled by IS for three years, was not clear following intense coalition and Russian airstrikes. Deutsche Welle quotes SDF officials estimating that Syrian regime forces are less than two miles away from the field, their advance crucially delayed by an Islamic State counterattack last week.

The SDF, with air support from the USA -led coalition, said it captured the field in a "swift and wide military operation".

Dillon says SDF fighters are fighting remaining IS militants in a housing complex adjacent to the oil field. Its current potential is unknown.

Since the coalition began operations against IS in 2014, the militants' oil production has been reduced from a peak of approximately $50 million per month to now less than $4 million, the coalition said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Pro-government forces are closing in on the frontier town of Boukamal, the last major IS stronghold in the country after the militants were driven from their de facto capital in the northern city of Raqqa as well as the eastern town of Mayadeen.

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The government lost the al-Omar field to other insurgents in 2013. Currently, there are two parallel offensives against IS in the region, one led by the Syrian government forces along with their allies from Russian Federation and Iran, and one by rebel groups with the support of the United States.

A race is underway between US -backed Syrian forces and Russia-backed government troops in the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province.

Pro-government media is reporting that Syrian troops have taken up a position allowing them to fire down on a supply route between an Islamic State-held town on the Iraqi border and a nearby desert outpost.

The SDF's gains come as Russia's Defense Ministry accused the US-led coalition of wiping the Syrian city of Raqqa "off the face of the earth" via carpet bombing in the same way the United States and Britain bombed Germany's Dresden in 1945.

The coalition is in a race against Russian-backed Syrian governments troops to seize parts of the resource-rich Deir Az Zor province bordering Iraq.

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