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Updates in plain English from the conflict that won't stop

Day 1,204: ISIL seizes Syria's largest oil field

In other news, please do not date ISIL fighters, ladies.
Iraqis flee ISIL advanceEnlarge
Iraqis flee the ISIL advance. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Today is Day 1,204 of the Syrian conflict. It brings more news of extremist gains and mindblowingly moronic Western sympathizers.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has taken control of al-Omar, Syria's largest oil field, close to the border with Iraq. This news was reported by the AP earlier this morning.

Yesterday, the AFP reported that Syria's moderate rebel fighters were threatening to lay down their arms if they didn't get more support for the fight against ISIL. The rebels, whose main fight is theoretically against Bashar al-Assad, gave opposition organizations including "the National Coalition, the (opposition) interim government, the Supreme Military Council and all the leading bodies of the Syrian revolution a week to send reinforcements and complete aid."

On the "Westerners doing stupid things" front, the opening of an AP report last night:

FBI agents tried more than once to discourage a 19-year-old suburban Denver woman who said she was intent on waging jihad in the Middle East before arresting her in April as she boarded a flight she hoped would ultimately get her to Syria, court documents unsealed Wednesday show.

Shannon Maureen Conley had told agents that she wanted to use her American military training from the U.S. Army Explorers to start a holy war overseas, even though she knew that it was illegal, according to the newly released federal court records. Her "legitimate targets of attack" included military facilities, government employees and public officials, the documents say.

Conley, a Muslim convert, was arrested April 8 at Denver International Airport, telling agents she planned to live with a suitor she met online, apparently a Tunisian man who claimed to be fighting for [...] the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Let's abandon journalistic objectivity for a moment to issue a quick reminder for all online daters that really shouldn't be all that controversial: Do check that your penpal's hobbies don't include cutting people's heads off, crucifying corpses, and burning families alive. And, folks: While you may like almost none of your friends' significant others, when one friend's significant other boasts of being a murderer it really is time to enact that mass intervention you've been daydreaming about.

For more on non-Syrians causing trouble, go read about the red-bearded Chechen who is now one of ISIL's "most prominent commanders."

The conflict continues.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/meanwhile-syria/day-1204-isil-seizes-syrias-largest-oil-field