BEIRUT - US-backed Syrian fighters captured Saturday the country's largest gas field from the Islamic State group in an eastern province that borders Iraq as they race with government forces to capture the energy-rich region, a senior official with the group said.
Nasser Haj Mansour of the Syrian Democratic Forces said the Conoco gas field and plant came under full control of the group on Saturday morning after days of fighting with the extremists. He added that SDF fighters also captured the nearby al-Izba gas field.
Another SDF spokesman, Brig. Gen. Talal Sillo, said the fighting in the area left 65 ISIS fighters dead while more than 100 gunmen surrendered. He added that ISIS had been controlling Conoco since 2014.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the war in Syria, says SDF fighters have not yet taken the field in the province of Deir el-Zour, saying fighting is ongoing around it. It said ISIS fighters are launching a counteroffensive to slowdown the push by the SDF.