Attack in Eastern Syria Kills 10 Oil Workers

According to state news agency SANA, an attack on three buses in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province on Friday killed at least 10 al-Taym oil field workers and left two injured.

Attack in Eastern Syria Kills 10 Oil Workers
Image credit: Al Jazeera

Facts

  • According to state news agency SANA, an attack on three buses in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province on Friday killed at least 10 al-Taym oil field workers and left two injured.
  • No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights accused members of the Islamic State (IS) of being behind it.
  • The same day, US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said they arrested 52 IS militants during raids in the north, reportedly thwarting an alleged planned New Year's Eve attack.
  • This comes a day after the SDF announced "Operation Al-Jazeera Thunderbolt," an offensive against IS to eliminate its fighters from the al-Hol and Tal Hamis areas.
  • Around 900 US troops in Syria reportedly support the SDF's fight against IS, and on Thursday, the US Central Command said it had operated 313 operations against IS in Syria and Iraq this year.
  • Friday's attack on oil field workers is the latest violence in Syria's catastrophic 11-year-old civil war; around 500K people have died in the conflict, and millions more have been forced to flee their homes.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Aawsat, Associated Press, and BBC News.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Cato. The US's ongoing interference in oil-rich Syria continues to exacerbate problems in the Middle East and raise questions about its true motives. Washington politicians, and their defense-contract donors, seemingly love to prolong wars, but there's no rational reason to stay in Damascus at this point. Only if the US and its partners leave Syria will the country be able to find lasting peace again.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Usip. While IS may not be perceived as the grave threat it was in the past decade — largely thanks to US efforts — it's still a dangerous terror organization whose actions have, and will continue to, destroy the lives of thousands. Syria has been in disarray since the start of its civil war, and its regime cannot resolve the problems of the region alone. US-led global action is required to bring stability and human rights to Syria.