Washington Post (Sep 25) — The U.S. military and two Arab allies on Wednesday bombarded a dozen small-scale oil refineries in eastern Syria as part of an expanding campaign to cut off key sources of financing and fuel for the Islamic State, according to the Pentagon.
U.S. fighter jets and drones, alongside warplanes from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, struck the refineries in remote parts of the Syrian desert one day after a larger wave of airstrikes targeted Islamic State training sites, ammunition depots and command centers in the country, U.S. military officials said. Wednesday’s operation was part of a broader strategy to sever supply lines and transportation corridors connecting Islamic State strongholds in Syria and Iraq, the officials said.
The Islamic State is estimated to produce between 25,000 and 40,000 barrels of oil a day, earning as much as $1 million a day, according to industry experts.
The attacks on the refineries came on a day when U.S. military forces reported hitting an Islamic State convoy in Syria near the Iraqi border and Syrian opposition groups reported heavy bombardment in areas near Turkey. American planes also carried out five airstrikes in Iraq, U.S. officials said.
Islamic State fighters are waging a two-front war in Iraq and Syria, seeking to expand the boundaries of their self-declared caliphate, or state ruled by strict Islamic law. The group is accused of widespread atrocities in both countries and the beheadings of at least three Western hostages.