Islamic State captures large swaths of Shaer gas field in Homs

The Islamic State has released pictures showing its capture of large parts of the al Shaer gas field in the eastern part of Homs province in Syria. The field is due east of the ancient city of Palmyra. The photos were disseminated on Twitter by the jihadist group’s supporters after being posted elsewhere online. The Islamic State has taken to releasing its propaganda this way after the social media site began to crack down on its official accounts.

The photos bear the title of Wilayat Homs, as the gas field is part of that declared administrative division of the Islamic State.

The pictures were released in two separate photo sets. The first set shows many destroyed tanks of the Syrian regime, as well as several dead regime fighters. Other images show the Islamic State’s “spoils” from overrunning the Syrian Army forces, including many rockets, mortars, and vehicles, as well as ammunition. The jihadist group also claims to have captured five tanks and two BMPs (Russian-made infantry fighting vehicles) from the regime. The remaining pictures show that the Islamic State has taken control of the Hayan Gas Plant.

The second release of pictures shows more clashes with the regime in the gas field, including the use of what appears to be a Soviet-made D30 howitzer. Other photographs show the use of heavily armed technicals (pickup trucks fitted with weapons in the bed) and mortars. The Islamic State claimed to have captured two more tanks, several technicals, and various heavy weaponry from the regime. The last few pictures show that the jihadist group has captured the Jahar Gas Plant. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based group, said that more than 30 soldiers from the regime were killed in clashes with the Islamic State in the Shaer gas field.

The field has changed hands several times throughout the war. In July, the Islamic State briefly took Shaer after possibly killing hundreds of regime soldiers. At the time, Al Arabiya reported that “at least 270 people [were] killed after fighters belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria seized a gas field in central Syria.” The report also noted that SOHR said, “The fate of 340 National Defence Force (paramilitary) members, guards, engineers and employees who were in the field, is unknown, as they were either taken prisoner, wounded or captured during the operation.”

The Islamic State controls various oil and natural gas fields, refineries, and production facilities in Iraq and Syria. The United States and coalition partners have targeted Islamic State-held oil assets in both countries.

Pictures from the first set:

__________________small.png

1_small.jpg

3_small.jpg

6_small.jpg

gas plant.jpg

9_small.jpg

10_small.jpg

12.jpg

15_small.jpg

14.jpg

17.jpg

Pictures from the second set:

_________________2_small.png

18-small.jpg

1-small.jpg

2-small.jpg

3-small.jpg

4-small.jpg

5-small.jpg

8-small.jpg

12-small.jpg

13 g.jpg

14-small.jpg

11-small.jpg

Caleb Weiss is a contributor to FDD's Long War Journal.

Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

Tags: ,

3 Comments

  • m3fd2002 says:

    The Islamic State is tenacious at a minimum. This area is very strategic for the Assad regime. Not only for the petroleum assets, but Palmyra serves as a major resupply hub for Iranian and Russian air cargo resupply efforts. The SAA will have to commit serious assets to retain control of that region. I believe even if IS is pushed back from Kobani, they will return when the headlines (and subsequent air cover) concentrate on some other area/topic.

  • Tom says:

    Its obvious that IS next target is the city of Homs itself. They take Tiyas Airbase and isolate or seize Palmyra, they got a shot at Homs City. It would also force Assad to abandon Deir Ezzor as untenable.

  • Tom says:

    Syria is claiming to have counter-attacked in the area. Not much info.

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis