Syrian activists, including Rami Abdul-Rahman who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, say it is not clear how much of the fields are controlled by the rebels. Still activists and state media state say most of Syria's fields are no longer under direct government control. In November, rebels made one of the biggest gains when they briefly captured the large al-Omar field in Deir el-Zour only to lose it to government troops days later. They still control many other fields, the Observatory says.So far, the rebels have largely been unable to benefit from the oil fields, particularly since the country's two refineries in the central city of Homs and the coastal city of Banias are in the hands of Assad's troops. Regime warplanes' control of the air makes it difficult for rebels to exploit the fields, as do the divisions among rival rebel factions.
Syria Oil Industry Buckling Under Rebel Gains
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