A day after admitting a terrorist attack brought down a Russian passenger jet over Egypt last month, killing all 224 people on board, Russia announced its warplanes will attack any tanker trucks travelling through territory belonging to the Islamic State in Syria. Within hours it was revealed that, in order to cut off the terrorist group’s biggest source of income, Russian Air Force had destroyed around 500 ISIS fuel trucks transporting illegal oil from Syria to refineries in Iraq.
— RT (@RT_com) November 18, 2015
“Today a decision was taken according to which Russian warplanes are now flying on a so-called ‘free hunt’ against tanker trucks carrying oil products belonging to terrorists in areas controlled by IS. In recent years, Islamic State and other extremist groups have organized the operations of the so-called ‘pipeline on wheels’ on the territories they control. In just the first few days, our aviation has destroyed 500 fuel tanker trucks. This has considerably lowered the ability of the militants to illegally export energy products and their income from contraband oil,” Russian General Staff spokesman Colonel General Andrey Kartapolov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.
Kartapolov displayed images showing convoys comprised of hundreds of vehicles transporting oil to back his assertion.
Earlier this week, United States warplanes for the first time attacked hundreds of trucks that the extremist group had been using to smuggle the crude oil it has been producing in Syria. According to an initial assessment, 116 trucks were destroyed in the attack, which took place near Deir al-Zour, an area in eastern Syria that is controlled by the Islamic State.
— Michael (@Canine_Rights) November 19, 2015
As Russia destroys ISIS oil infrastructure, even the worst propagandists begin to ask the right questions. pic.twitter.com/VKUVsW5aKF
— Christoph Germann (@newgreatgame) November 18, 2015
Hundreds of thousands of tons of fuel have been delivered to Iraq for processing by trucks and the revenue generated from these illegal exports is the one of the terrorists’ main sources of funding, Kartapolov added.
Figures from oil workers in Syria and Iraq along with Western intelligence estimates suggest up to 40,000 barrels are being produced every day in ISIS-held territory. Last month it was revealed ISIS was making more than £320million a year from oil. This wealth has allowed the group to flourish regionally and internationally.
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