August 12, 2023
From Syria 360

The Cradle News Desk

The attack on US troops at the Conoco field in Deir Ezzor comes two days after ISIS killed over two dozen Syrian army soldiers in the same region

The US occupation base at Syria’s Conoco natural gas field came under attack on the morning of 12 August, as unidentified attackers launched at least three rockets that caused a series of explosions inside the base.

Local sources told Sputnik that US occupation troops, alongside their local proxies, mobilized around the base following the attack while US aircraft conducted reconnaissance flights.

Conoco field is Syria’s largest natural gas field and is one of several fields occupied by Washington’s forces, who regularly conduct oil smuggling operations to the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Here, Syrian oil and gas are sold to fund the activities of US proxies.

According to estimates by the Syrian government, at least three million barrels of Syria’s natural resources are looted every month by the US occupation from Hasakah, Raqqa, and Deir Ezzor governorates. This has led to losses surpassing $107 billion since the start of the war in 2011.

Washington recently reinforced its illegal occupation of these oil and gas fields in the northeast, deploying thousands of troops from Iraq, mobilizing their Sunni and Kurdish allies in the region, and even sending High Mobile Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to prepare for possible attacks by Iranian-backed resistance groups.

The reinforcements also came in response to increasing tensions with the Russian air force in the south of Syria, as over the past few months, the two sides have stopped adhering to deconfliction protocols and have had more than one near-miss.

Nonetheless, Washington has been unable to mobilize reinforcements to their massive Al-Tanf base in the south due to the advancements made by Damascus, Tehran, and Moscow in recent years to take back territory from extremist groups. To make up for this, the US deployed F-22 stealth fighter squadrons to neighboring Jordan.

Saturday’s attack also comes just two days after ISIS conducted its deadliest attack on the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) this year, killing 33 soldiers in the same region where the US has reinforced its presence.

The Sunni extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack in Deir Ezzor on Friday, saying its fighters had carried out an ambush “on two military buses,” targeting them “with heavy weapons and rocket-propelled grenades” and setting one on fire, according to a statement from Amaq news agency.

This marked the fourth ISIS attack in Syria in less than a month. On 7 August, ISIS militants killed ten Syrian soldiers in Raqqa governorate, while a week earlier, an ISIS attack on an oil convoy left five Syrian soldiers and two civilians dead. This attack took place just days after a massive explosion near the Shrine of Sayyida Zaynab on the outskirts of Damascus left over two dozen casualties.

Furthermore, desert-based remnants of the group have been waging a brutal campaign of killings and kidnappings against Homs’ truffle harvesters. According to SOHR, 139 Syrian citizens and truffle harvesters have been killed so far by ISIS in the Syrian desert since the start of 2023.

While the White House claims its troops are present in Syria to confront ISIS, Russian officials and Syrian locals have accused Washington’s forces of housing and training extremist militants inside Al-Tanf base with the aim of “sowing chaos” in Syria.