Syrian rebels capture oilfield near Iraqi border

The victory came after three days of fighting government troops


Alex Halperin
November 4, 2012 7:58PM (UTC)

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Syrian rebels have captured an oilfield in the country's east after three days of fierce fighting with government troops protecting the facility.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights' chief Rami Abdul-Rahman says rebels overran the al-Ward oilfield in the province of Deir el-Zour near the border with Iraq on Sunday.

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Omar Abu Leila, an activist in the area, says the field was still functioning until shortly before the rebels seized it.

Syria exported some 150,000 barrels of oil a day before European and U.S. imposed sanctions last year.

In 2010, Syria earned $4.4 billion by selling oil to EU countries alone. Oil was the main source of hard currency for the regime until the sanctions took effect.

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Alex Halperin

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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Conflict From The Wires Iraq Middle East Oil Syria

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