More than 700 people were killed in clashes over two days between pro-government forces and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) militants in Syria.
Activists from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that the deaths represented the bloodiest fighting since the civil war began in 2011.
Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and ISIS militants battled following the rebel group’s capture of the Shaar gas field east of Homs city.
Rami Abdul Rahman, head of SOHR, said that the deaths were the first time 700 had been killed in the space of two days since the onset of the conflict…
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But who cares about Syrians anyway – only Palestinians matter.
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I saw the story about the fighting over the gas field yesterday, but after trying to figure out what was going on I gave up and did not report it. It was a new story and rather confusing–in fact, I am not sure who has possession of the gas field at present (perhaps they are still fighting?)
The attack on Al-Shaer came days after Islamic State routed rival rebel factions from the city of Deir-Ezzour, giving it control over most of the city and the province of the same name. Syrian regime forces remained in a few neighborhoods and at the airport on the west side of the city. The oil-rich province borders Iraq, where Islamic State has led a Sunni insurgency against the Shiite-led government there since early June.
Syrian state media have said nothing about the fighting in Al-Shaer. Homs Gov. Talal Barazi couldn’t be reached on Sunday.
Military reinforcements were sent on Saturday to reclaim the Al-Shaer installation, according to a report on Sunday by the privately owned Al-Watan daily newspaper, which is close to Syrian security and intelligence agencies. The facility is among the largest in Syria and supplies gas to power stations in the country’s center.
The paper, citing a military source, said that airstrikes by the Syrian air force were paving the way for regime ground troops to reclaim the facility.
More than 2,000 Islamic State members were involved in the initial attack, according to Al-Watan, and approximately 60 soldiers and National Defense Force members were killed.
“The army has no choice but to reclaim the [Al-Shaer] field as soon as possible,” said the military source, according to Al-Watan.
More than 150,000 people including well over 10,000 children have been killed since the start of the Syrian conflict in March 2011, said the United Nations last week. The Observatory has put the overall toll at more than 170,000.