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Air Strikes Hit Oilfields And IS Bases in Syria

Source: Reuters 9/26/2014, Location: Middle East

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Air and missile strikes, thought to be carried out by U.S.-led forces, hit oilfields and Islamic State bases in the eastern Syria overnight and early 26 September, a monitoring group said.

U.S. and Arab forces started bombing Islamic State militants in northern and eastern Syria. The United States has been bombing bases of the al Qaeda splinter group in Iraq since last month.

The air strikes early on Friday hit Islamic State bases and positions on the outskirts of the city of al-Mayadin in Deir al-Zor province, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict through a network of sources.

An earlier air strike hit the al-Tanak oilfield area in the province, while apparent missile strikes -- also thought to be carried out by U.S.-led forces -- hit the al-Quriyah area, also in Deir al-Zor, the monitoring group said.

Strikes also hit areas southeast of the city of Hasaka, close to Syria's border with Iraq. They targeted Islamic State, al Qaeda's Nusra Front and other Islamist militants, the Observatory said.

Deir al-Zor, which borders Iraq, is almost entirely controlled by Islamic State militants and was a major oil-producing province before Syria's conflict began more than three years ago.

Oil has been a top source of revenue for Islamic State militants, and air raids on Thursday targeted refineries controlled by the group. The strikes also have seemed to be intended to hamper Islamic State's ability to operate across the border with Iraq, where it also control territory.

The Observatory said there were casualties from the earlier strikes but did not give details.

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