Beirut: Syrian rebels captured most of an oil field in the energy-rich northeast today, the latest in a string of strategic conquests this week that also included a dam and the defenses around a major airport.
The opposition fighters trying to oust authoritarian President Bashar Assad also captured the town of Shadadah, near the Jbeysa oil field in hotly contested Hasaka province, according to Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the Britain-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The oil field is in an energy-rich area along Syria`s border with Iraq. Abdul-Rahman said the rebels captured about 70 per cent of the oil field but there was still sporadic gunfire in the area.
Opposition fighters were also battling regime forces for the third straight day for control of the main airport in the northern city of Aleppo.
Yesterday, the rebels knocked down army defenses and closed in on the country`s second largest airport in Aleppo, Syria`s main commercial hub.
The airport stopped all flights weeks ago because of the fighting.
Earlier this week, rebels captured the nation`s largest dam and a military base near Aleppo. They have also brought the fight closer to the heart of Damascus, seat of Assad`s regime.