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Syria and neighbors. Click to enlarge map.

ISIS Captures Major Oil Field

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took and held one of the largest oil fields in Syria July 3. However, the victory did little to move oil markets.

ISIS had taken Al-Omar from a rival al-Qaeda group, the Nusra Front, which had held it since November.

The action in Syria illustrated the growing success of ISIS, an al-Qaeda splinter group that wants to establish a Sunni caliphate, stating in Syria and Iraq but expanding as it is able.

ISIS earlier last month captured Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, and Baiji, one of the largest refineries in Iraq.

US Aid to Moderate Syrian Rebels

ISIS control in Syria and Iraq.
Click to enlarge map.
The Obama administration is asking Congress to fund $500 million in training aid to moderate rebels in Syria.

Citing the use of chemical weapons by the government of Syria, the United States has considered arming Syrian rebels.

Further, the US is looking at setting up no-fly zones in southern Syria, close to the Jordanian border.

The announcements came as the United Nations stated that more than 93,000 people have been killed in two years of fighting.

The US is still studying what array of weapons to provide the rebels, considering small arms and ammunition at first.

The move follows increased turmoil in the region. Recently Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon have joined forces with pro-Assad government troops and have displayed battlefield gains. That has led to violence within Lebanon as the rebels retaliated.

In addition to the ongoing violence in Iraq, Turkey, a neighbor of Syria to the north and temporary home to thousand of its refugees, has erupted into civil strife. Citizens there have taken to the street to protest what the perceive as authoritarian rule by its leaders.

Maps of Syria Show the Cause and Scope of Fighting


Drought in Syria initiated the cause for the civil war.


No ethnic group in Syria has escaped the effects of the fighting.


Syria - Stories, Links and Resources

Syria
Global Resources News stories

Hunger Adds to Syria Crisis

Syria - Timeline

Links for the search term: Syria

'Middle Eastern Studies' Article on the role of drought in Syria's uprising
The author argues that the bad response of the Syrian government to the drought was the proximate trigger of the revolution.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees page on Syria

ABYZ News Links to Syria

Human Rights Watch Page on Syria