ISIS in control of ‘35 percent’ of Syrian territory

Rebel fighters during clashes with ISIS militants on the outskirts of Aleppo on July 13, 2014. (AFP)

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is now in control of 35 percent of the Syrian territory following a string of victories, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.

ISIS holdings include nearly all of Syria’s oil and gas fields, the monitoring group said in a statement.

One of the latest gains of the self-proclaimed “caliphate” was the seizure of the country’s biggest oil fields, in Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria, earlier in the week.

Deir Ezzor borders Homs province as well as Iraq, where the jihadist group has spearheaded a major Sunni militant offensive that has seen large swathes of territory fall out of the Baghdad government’s control.

Meanwhile, jihadists have killed 270 Syrian regime fighters, civilian security guards and employees since seizing a gas field in Homs province, the Observatory added, according to Agence France-Presse…

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But who cares about Syria? Not The New York Times, which continues its obsessive coverage of Gaza.  Three stories on Gaza,  and nothing at all on the rest of the Middle East on their site right now.