ISIS militants occupied the last main oilfield which remained under the control of the Syrian regime on Monday following a battle over a vast central desert zone in the middle of the country, a monitoring group has said.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Jazal field has been closed and fights were continuing in the east of Homs with casualties.
The Syrian Army said it repulsed an attack in the same area and did not give any information about the fate of Jazal or how much of the country's battered energy infrastructure remains intact. The army also claimed that it killed 25 ISIS militants including foreign fighters.
"The regime has lost the last oilfield in Syria," said the Observatory.
The Jazal oilfield is located near the ancient city of Palmyra which lies to the north west of the Syrian opposition-held territories. The medium-sized oilfield is close to the areas where Syria’s major natural gas fields and multi-million-dollar extraction facilities have been placed.
The Observatory has also reported heavy clashes between government forces and ISIS in the eastern suburbs of Homs province.