Middle East

September 11, 2013

Nusra Front militia’s control of Syrian city gives it economic clout

At the edge of a vast desert in Syria’s gas and oil production region, Ash Shaddadi, a city of 70,000, has become the nightmare that many fear if radical Islamist forces triumph in the country’s civil war. Since February, the city has been under the control of the militia known as the Nusra Front, which has pledged allegiance to al Qaida. The spoils of conquest include much of eastern Syria’s petroleum resources.

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