US slams Islamic State with 25 new air strikes in Iraq, Syria
WASHINGTON: US war planes struck more than two dozen times in Syria and Iraq on Friday (Oct 17) and Saturday (Oct 18), hitting Islamic State militants and oil infrastructure they control, the American military said.
Of 15 air strikes in Syria, 12 were aimed at “degrading and destroying their oil producing, collecting, storage and transportation infrastructure,” the US Central Command said in a statement. The militants control a swath of territory straddling northwestern Iraq and eastern Syria, home to most of Syria’s main oilfields.
Experts said the militants were earning as much as US$3 million daily from oil before the coalition began launching strikes on Syria, building on the air war under way against IS in Iraq since Aug 8.
Seven of the US strikes were east of Diban; they “successfully struck an IS crude oil collection point consisting of crude oil collection equipment and a modular oil refinery,” the statement said. Another of the five others against oil targets was southeast of Deir Ezzor and damaged a modular refinery. Three other strikes in Syria hit two IS fighting positions near Kobane and a military camp in the Raqa province.
In Iraq, five air strikes south and west of Bayji “struck two IS units, destroyed one IS armed vehicle, an IS heavy weapon, an IS machine gun position, an IS building and three IS guard shacks and damaged one IS guard shack.”
Another five west of the strategic Mosul Dam destroyed vehicles and damaged a building occupied by militants.