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A coalition forces air strike in Syria has destroyed 83 oil tank trucks used by ISIS to transport crude, which is the group’s major source of funding. The U.S.-led operation took place on Sunday evening—according to Pentagon spokesman Matthew Allen—near Syria’s border with Iraq, in the province of Deir Ezzor.
Allen added that it was part of the larger Tidal Wave II operation whose ultimate goal is to destroy ISIS’ oil-smuggling activities, depriving the terrorist organization of its main means of supporting itself.
All forces engaged in the fight against ISIS are focusing primarily on oil targets. A couple of weeks ago, the Syrian army managed to regain control of several key points along an important oil pipeline in Al-Badia, in western Syria.
ISIS itself has not been idle, either, last week attacking the largest oilfield in the Iraqi region of Kirkuk, which contributes around a third of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s oil revenues. The organization also blew up five other fields near Mosul in an attempt to stop the advance of the Iraqi army.
The efforts of the coalition forces, Russia, and the Syrian and Iraqi armies seem to be paying off: according to a report by Iraqi News, the group has lost some 90 percent of its oil revenues.
Security sources from the ministry of oil said that ISIS had been smuggling at least 50 vehicles full of oil every day from oilfields in Qayyarah and Najma. The two sites stand south of Mosul—the largest ISIS stronghold and the third largest city in Iraq by population.
But new offensives against the terrorist organization have reduced the smuggling rate to five vehicles a day. ISIS’ prices for the smuggled oil, which once stood above $6,000 a vehicle, have now been reduced to $2,000.
After ISIS lost control of the Alas and Hamrin oilfields near Tikrit last April, the group’s income declined by an additional $1 million every day.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.