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Syrian Army Hits ISIS In Oil-Rich Homs Area

Syria’s Army has hit major gatherings of ISIS in an oil-rich area in Homs, east of the ancient city of Palmyra, inflicting a heavy death toll to the Islamic State militants, Iran-based Fars news agency reported on Monday.

The Syrian Army has also inflicted major damage on the terrorists’ military hardware, the agency reports.

On Sunday, Syrian Army troops drove ISIS out of strongholds in the oil-rich strategic region of Arak in eastern Homs, also killing many militants and taking control over vital areas, according to the Fars agency.

Earlier this month, a coalition-forces air strike in Syria 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 near Syria’s border with Iraq, in the province of Deir Ezzor.

According to Pentagon spokesman Matthew Allen, the air strike 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.

And just last week, Syrian Army troops hit an ISIS fuel convoy in the southern province of Sweida, destroying most of the oil tankers.

In late July, the Syrian Army retook strategic points along a major oil pipeline in Al-Badia in western Syria from ISIS, after several days of fighting in which the army and its allies had been pushing into the desert region of al-Salamiyah.

ISIS, which relies on smuggling oil out of Syria and Iraq, has seen its oil revenues drop by up to 90 percent. ISIS had been smuggling 50 vehicles of oil from Iraqi fields every day. However, 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 US$6,000 a vehicle, have now been reduced to US$2,000.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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