BEIRUT, July 3 Militants from the Islamic State
group seized control of Syria's largest oil field al-Omar from
rival rebel fighters on Thursday, strengthening its advance
across the eastern Deir al-Zor province, a monitoring group
"They took leadership about two hours ago," said Rami
Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Nusra Front, Syria's al Qaeda wing, had previously been in
control of the field.
Syria is not a significant oil producer and has not exported
any oil since late 2011, when international sanctions took
effect to raise pressure on President Bashar al-Assad. Before
sanctions, Syria exported 370,000 barrels per day, mainly to
(Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Alison Williams)