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US-backed forces repel Daesh attack in East Syria — monitor

By AFP - Aug 19,2018 - Last updated at Aug 19,2018

BEIRUT — US-backed forces have repelled a raid by the Daesh terror group targeting barracks housing American and French troops in eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday.

The Syrian Democratic Forces and the US-led coalition supporting them were on high alert after the raid late Friday at the Omar oilfield in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, the Britain-based war monitor said.

“The attack targeted the oilfield’s housing, where US-led coalition forces and leaders of the Syrian Democratic Forces are present,” observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Seven fighters were killed in the attack, which ended at dawn after clashes near the barracks, he added.

Contacted by AFP, neither the US-led coalition nor the Kurdish-led SDF were immediately available for comment.

In October last year, the SDF took control of the Omar oilfield, one of the largest in Syria, which according to The Syria Report economic weekly had a pre-war output of 30,000 barrels per day.

“It’s the largest attack of its kind since the oilfield was turned into a coalition base” following its capture by the SDF, Abdel Rahman said.

Daesh overran large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” in territory it controlled.

But the militants group has since lost nearly all of it to multiple offensives in both countries.

In Syria, two separate campaigns — by the US-backed SDF and by the Russia-supported government — have reduced Daesh’s presence to pockets in Deir Ezzor and in the vast desert that lies between it and the capital.

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