Middle east

Dozens of Rockets Rain Down on US-Controlled Oil Field in Biggest Single Strike Since October

Russian military intelligence satellite snap showing oil transit vehicles gather near Al-Omar oil station in Deir ez-Zor Province, Syria, which US forces and their Syrian Democratic Forces allies have been occupying since 2017.

Militants dramatically ramped up attacks on US bases in Iraq and northeastern Syria last fall, in response to America’s unshakable support for Israel in the conflict in Gaza. Drone, rocket artillery and missile attacks have targeted US forces over 115 times to date, killing at least one contractor and injuring dozens of troops.Militants fired at least 30 rockets at the US base in al-Omar, eastern Deir ez-Zor province, Syria on Monday morning.The rocket barrage appears to be the biggest single militant attack against US forces in the Middle Eastern nation since the October 2023 escalation, and was reportedly carried out in retaliation to a recent American attack targeting a truck (presumably belonging to militants) at the Al-Qaim-Al-Bukamal border crossing between Iraq and Syria.

Al-Omar is Syria’s largest oil field. It’s one of several major energy-rich areas illegally occupied by US forces in the country’s northeast, with American troops and their Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces allies regularly extracting oil wealth and smuggling it into neighboring Iraq in convoys of tankers.

Local media reported “direct casualties” from Monday’s rocket strike at the oil field, but US Central Command and ‘Operation Inherent Resolve’, the Pentagon’s official name for its “counterterrorism” mission in Syria, have yet to comment on the attack at the time of writing.Separately on Monday, Lebanese media reported a drone attack on a US base at Rmelan in Hasakah province in Syria’s northeast.A day earlier, local media reported on a militant drone attack against US troops at Hasakah’s Qasrak Base, as well as the al-Asad Air Base in Iraq.World50-Year US Hegemony in Middle East ‘Now Being Challenged’ – Analyst5 January, 08:45 GMTMost of the 100+ drone, missile and rocket artillery attacks against US forces in Syria and Iraq have been carried out by a militia coalition calling itself the “Iraqi Resistance.” CENTCOM believes Kata’ib Hezbollah – a powerful Iraqi Shia militia which played a major role in beating back Daesh* from 2014-2017 as part of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), is the main culprit in the string of attacks against American forces

Not to be confused with Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah turned its guns on US forces after they refused to leave the region following Daesh’s defeat – and ramped up attacks after PMF Deputy Commander and Kata’ib Hezbollah Secretary-General Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was killed in a US drone attack in Baghdad alongside IRGC Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani in January 2020.

Syria has repeatedly demanded that US forces end their illegal occupation of the war-torn nation’s oil and food-rich northeastern territories. In Iraq, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani announced last Friday that a joint Iraqi-US committee had begun the process of scheduling the withdrawal of the US-led coalition from the country.WorldIraqi Armed Forces Blame US-Led Coalition for Attack on Militia Headquarters in Baghdad4 January, 13:50 GMTIraq’s parliament had originally demanded the removal of US forces from the country in 2020, shortly after al-Muhandis and Soleimani’s killing, but Washington dragged its feet, instead renaming its ‘combat mission’ in the country to an ‘advise and assist’ operation.Now, the Iraqi government appears to be restating its demands, citing the “violation” of existing agreements. “[This] is a commitment that the government will not back down from, and we will not neglect anything that would complete national sovereignty over Iraq’s land, sky, and waters,” al-Sudani assured.* A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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