ISIL militants seize gas field in central Syria

ISIL militants seize gas field in central Syria
# 17 July 2014 18:54 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Takfiri ISIL terrorists have taken control of a gas field in Syria’s central region of Palmyra, an opposition source says, APA reports quoting Press TV.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ISIL militants attacked the Sha’ar gas field on Thursday morning and killed some 23 guards.

Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the UK-based observatory, said that the “fate of 340 National Defense Force ... members, guards, engineers and employees who were in the field, is unknown, as they were either taken prisoner, wounded or captured during the operation.”

Abu Bilal, an opposition activist linked to the militant group in Homs, said 12 ISIL militants were also killed in the clashes, adding the armed men “took eight checkpoints before taking over the gas field.

Homs governor Talal Barazi also confirmed that the militants seized the field, noting that the ISIL terrorists “were present in the area beforehand.”

Barazi further added that the government forces are trying to take the field back and that “There is fighting in the area.”

The development came as the Syrian army recaptured a large area of the city of Morek in Hama Province. The city had become the main stronghold of the Takfiri militants in the province since it fell to the control of the militants.

Takfiri terrorists have recently stepped up their attacks against civilians as Syrian army soldiers have achieved major victories in their battle against the foreign-backed militants.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.