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Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

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U.S. And Kurdish Forces Kill ISIS Oil Manager

A joint attack executed by Kurdish forces and United States Special Forces led to the death of the Islamic State fighter in charge of the terrorist group’s oil operations in Iraq and Syria, according to a new report by Reuters.

Sami Jassim al-Jabouri, who had also been known to authorities as Haji Hamad, along with his assistant, were killed “in the vicinity of Qaim,” according to a statement released by the two parties that carried out the attack.

A spokesman from the Pentagon added that coalition forces were still assessing the total results of the planned operation.

"The mission was coordinated with and approved by the Government of Iraq and conducted in partnership with Iraqi Security Forces," Adrian Rankine-Galloway from the Pentagon said.

Peshmarga fighters from Kurdistan have been actively involved in the fight against the Islamic State, which declared a “caliphate” in parts of Syria and Iraq.

The group has largely been losing ground since the Iraqi government and the international coalition supporting it began coordinated attacks in the past few months, and Iraqi news outlets reported last week that ISIS’ oil revenues had declined by up to 90 percent.

Security sources from the Iraqi Oil Ministry said 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.

Related: Militants Blow Up Oil Well in Iraq’s Northern Kirkuk Province

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.

A strike by U.S.-led forces near Mosul in late June destroyed the terrorist group’s oil headquarters, as well as other key energy infrastructure.

In early June, Iraqi forces recaptured oil facilities in Fallujah – the first city to fall to ISIS in January 2014.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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