PKK/PYD captures major gas plant in Syria's Deir ez-Zor

PKK/PYD captures major gas plant in Syria's Deir ez-Zor”

Officer's killing by ISIL blamed on "two-faced policy" while report on Russian air strike on US-backed force is denied.

Asapov is the highest-ranking Russian military officer to be killed in Syria.

US-backed Syrian militias said Russian warplanes struck their positions in Deir Ezzor province on Monday, generating further friction between two rival campaigns against ISIL.

The United States has made similar accusations against Moscow, asserting that Russian forces say they are targeting IS fighters, but are in fact targeting USA -backed forces.

The assaults by the Russian-backed Syrian army and the US -backed SDF have at times raised fears of clashes that could stoke tensions between the competing world powers.

It was not the first time the SDF has accused Russia of targeting its forces in oil and gas-rich Deir el-Zour, where Russian backed Syrian troops are waging a separate offensive against the extremists.

Tensions between the United States and Russia in eastern Syria have intensified in recent weeks, as both the Russian-backed Syrian government and US -supported proxies are fighting parallel battles against the Islamic State.

Islamic State militants had planted explosive devices at the plant, hoping to cause a maximum damage, before the SDF took control over the facility on Saturday, Omar Abu Leila, who heads Deir Ezzour24, told The Journal.

Meanwhile, Syrian media reported that government and allied troops have seized Maadan, a town northwest of Deir el-Zour city and southeast of Raqqa, which has been scene to intense fighting with Islamic State militants.

ISIS has controlled the Conoco gas field since 2014.

The photos released by the Russian Defense Ministry that purport to show USA hardware at Islamic State positions could be a "quite damning" evidence of Washington's cooperation, Syria analyst Kamal Alam told RT.

In a sign of the high stakes as both forces come in increasing proximity, USA and Russian generals held a face-to-face meeting this week in an effort to avoid accidental clashes, US military officials said on Thursday. "Facing no resistance of the ISIS militants, the SDF units are advancing along the left shore of the Euphrates towards Deir ez-Zor", the statement reads. It says two people were wounded Sunday.

"We will not stand by with our arms crossed and we will use our legitimate right to self-defense".

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