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SDF, Daesh clash over oil-rich area in east Syria

 (Zaman Al Wasl)- Clashes continued between Daesh and US-backed forces in eastern as the radical group battling to keep its control on an oil-rich area between Hasaka and Deir Ezzor provinces, activists said Wednesday.

The Syrian Democratic Forces have seized 16 villages in two weeks in major campaign backed by the International airstrikes, which left more than 20 civilians dead.  

The latest gain of the SDF was the villages of Afra near the town of Markada, last ISIS stronghold in Hasaka province.

Activists say the war in eastern Syria now is for oil not just to eliminate the militant group as Daesh is still controlling few oil fields.
Five towns are still under Daesh control in the eastern bank of Euphrates River. The tiny territory has endured to major offensive by Kurdish forces since June.  

Two SDF members were killed on Wednesday by unknown assailants in in the village of al-Zer east of al-Basira town in Deir Ezzor province, local activists said.

A child boy lost his life in the Daesh suspected attack, according to activist Taj al-Allow.

In response, the SDF waged arrest campaign in the village, imposing curfew.

Three more SDF fighters were killed on Monday in similar attack in the town of al-Huwaij, al-Allow added.

The SDF, which the Kurdish YPG militia spearheads, has been the main partner of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State in Syria, helping drive the jihadists out of swathes of northern and eastern Syria last year.

Zaman Al Wasl
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