U.S.-backed Syrian fighters capture Conoco gas plant from Islamic State
By Raja Abdulrahim
Move takes away major revenue source from Islamic State
U.S.-backed forces said Sunday they were advancing through eastern Syria after seizing the Conoco gas plant there from Islamic State, striking a blow to the terror group's dwindling finances, which rely heavily on its control of Syria's oil and gas fields.
The Conoco plant is capable of producing nearly 450 tons of gas a day, according to the local activist monitoring group Deir Ezzour24. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, are racing against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad for territorial gains in Syria's east.
Islamic State militants planted improvised explosive devices -- meant to cause a maximum amount of damage -- in the plant before the SDF took control Saturday, said Omar Abu Leila, who heads Deir Ezzour24. The group has activists on the ground in oil-rich Deir Ezzour province, where the plant is located.
The Conoco (COP) plant was one of the most important sources of financing for Islamic State, an SDF spokesman said. The extremist group sold fuel produced there to Iraqi buyers and the Syrian regime, according to Deir Ezzour24.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com (https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-backed-forces-seize-conoco-gas-plant-from-islamic-state-1506290098?mod=mktw).
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