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U.S. And Allies Hit Oil-Related ISIS Targets In Syria And Iraq

Damascus

Twenty-nine new strikes by the United States and coalition forces have hit targets—including oil infrastructure—in Iraq and Syria, according to officials from Operation Inherent Resolve.

"Near Dayr Az Zawr, six strikes destroyed nine ISIS oil tankers, two ISIS well heads, an ISIS barge, and five ISIS oil refinery equipment items," a release stated on Thursday.

The Pentagon, which oversees U.S. military operations, previously announced that ISIS had shifted key operations to Deir ez-Zor, which lies 90 miles from Raqqa, the supposed site of the battle between an Islamic army and its enemies.

The anti-ISIS coalition completed 14 strikes against the groups position in Iraq, targeting sites in Huwayjah, Mosul, Rawah, Sinjar, and Tal Afar, according to Sputnik news. Command nodes, weapons, and other storage areas were destroyed in the campaign. Coalition forces in Syria struck 15 additional sites.

The war in Syria has become a proxy battle between Russia and the United States, with the former favoring the continuation of President Bashar Al Assad’s regime and the latter supporting rebel groups. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been effective in shaping the future of Damascus’ financial and political dealings, particularly in the energy industry.

In February, Dmitry Sablin, a lawmaker from the Duma, confirmed that Assad had greenlighted Moscow’s energy projects in the country.

"With regard to oil and gas production, he said that neither Iran nor China have companies with a worldwide reputation in this field, as Russia has, so in the oil and gas production, he [Assad] sees only the work of Russian companies," Sablin said.

Related: Can An OPEC Extension Push Oil To $60?

Russian integration into the Syrian economy will range from energy production and port repairs to the revival of the ancient city Palmyra, which was destroyed by fighters from the Islamic State (ISIS), largely to shock Westerners who viewed the vandalism and bombing of centuries-old statues and mausoleums in online videos.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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