26 September 2014, News Wires – The US has released images of aircraft carrying out bombing missions on oil refineries in Syria in the continued campaign against Islamic State militants.
The video footage and still images show some of the 13 air strikes carried out on Wednesday against 12 refining facilities in the east of the country used by Islamic State to generate income for its continued insurgency, it is claimed.
Still images also show pictures of the Jeribe and Gbiebe refineries before and after they were hit by bombs.
A mix of fighter and remotely-operated aircraft from the US, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates pounded a dozen oil refineries in remote areas in eastern Syria, the US Central Command said earlier this week
In total thirteen strikes were carried out on Wednesday on the modular facilities thought to be controlled by the terrorist group that has swept across large swathes of Iraq and Syria in recent months.
Most of the strikes were carried out in Al Mayadin, Al Hasakah and Abu Kamal, with one Islamic State vehicle also hit near Dayr az Zawr.
“Producing between 300 and 500 barrels of refined petroleum per day, (Islamic State) is estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day from these refineries. The destruction and degradation of these targets further limits (its) ability to lead, control, project power and conduct operations,” US Central Command said.
The Department of Defense added that, of 16 fighters used in the mission, 10 were coalition and six US craft. Forth-one precision-guided bombs were dropped 23 by coalition forces and 18 by the US. Some 85% of the tonnage of all bombs was from coalition aircraft.
The US has conducted almost 200 air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq, before expanding its operation to Syria earlier this week.
The Islamic State is largely in control of Syria’s oil and gas fields in the east of the country, giving it access to crude production and refined products, which the group has been smuggling to help finance its operations.
Smuggling routes include neighbouring Turkey but militants are known to have been selling refined products to the Syrian government, which is short of fuel after the loss of its major oilfields.
The Islamic State seized control of the al-Omar field, Syria’s largest, from rival Islamist fighters in July in a major offensive across the eastern Deir al-Zor province.