Nearly a dozen workers were killed in Syria’s northeastern province of Dayr al-Zawr after militants attacked three buses transporting the workers in an oil-rich area controlled by the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that the terrorist attack took place on Friday as vehicles transporting workers from the al-Taim oil field came under attack. Two oil workers were also wounded in the incident.
SANA did not provide any information on the nature of the assault in the SDF-held area or who may be behind it, but a British-based war monitor said remnants of Daesh Takfiri terrorist group carried out the attack near the oil field.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) recorded 12 fatalities, adding that several people were wounded.
“The attack began with explosive devices that went off as the buses drove by, and then the group’s militants shot at them,” Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the SOHR, told AFP news agency.
The attack comes days after talks were held in Moscow between oil ministers from Syria, Russia and Turkey.
The meeting helped to thaw relations between Ankara and Damascus after the outbreak of the foreign-sponsored Syrian conflict more than a decade ago had raised tensions.
Back on December 2 last year, ten Syrians were killed and at least one wounded in an attack on an oil field near Dayr al-Zawr city, which lies on the Euphrates River to the east of the country.
According to the SOHR, an explosive device targeted a bus transporting workers in the al-Kharrata oil field, situated roughly 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) southwest of Dayr al-Zawr.
SANA also confirmed the casualty numbers at the time.
Security conditions have been deteriorating in the areas controlled by the US-led SDF in Syria’s northern and northeastern provinces of Raqqah, Hasakah, and Dayr al-Zawr amid ongoing raids and arrests of civilians by the US-sponsored militants.
Locals argue that the SDF’s constant raids and arrest campaigns have generated a state of frustration and instability, severely affecting their businesses and livelihoods.
Residents accuse the US-backed militants of stealing crude oil and failing to spend money on service sectors.
Local councils affiliated with the SDF have also been accused of financial corruption. They are said to be embezzling funds provided by donors, neglecting services, and not meeting the people’s basic needs.