DEVELOPING STORY,

The SANA news agency said the attack targeted buses transporting workers in Deir Az Zor.

Ten oil field workers were killed in an attack in eastern Syria, state news agency SANA reported, a day after Syrian-Kurd-led forces announced an offensive against ISIL (ISIS).

“Two others were injured in a terrorist attack targeting three buses transporting workers from the al-Taim oil field in Deir Az Zor province,” the report said on Friday.

SANA did not provide information on the nature of the attack or who may be behind it, but a British war observer accused “Islamic State group cells” of carrying out the attack near the oil field.

“The attack started with explosives going off as the buses passed by, and then the group’s militants fired on them,” Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP.

On Thursday, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said they had launched an offensive against ISIL (ISIS) fighters, following an earlier attack on a prison in Raqqa, northwest of the bus attack.

The SDF said the offensive, dubbed “Operation al-Jazeera Thunderbolt”, was designed to “eliminate” ISIL fighters from areas that had been “the source of the recent terrorist attacks”.

The operation is being carried out jointly with the US-backed coalition, although there was no immediate confirmation from the international force that they were participating.

The SDF statement said that in addition to the thwarted Raqqa attack, ISIL fighters had recently carried out eight attacks in the Deir Az Zor area, Hasakeh and the al-Hol camp for displaced persons – mainly relatives of IS members.

Last Monday, six Kurdish fighters were killed when ISIL fighters attacked the complex in Raqqa, the group’s de facto former capital in Syria, in an attempt to free fellow militants imprisoned there.

After a meteoric rise in Iraq and Syria in 2014, ISIL saw its so-called caliphate collapse, but fighters remain and the group continues to claim attacks in the two countries.



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