For the first time, the United States and Russia conducted combined airstrikes on an Islamic State-controlled oil field in Raqqa in eastern Syria, a major part of a half a billion dollar crude industry sustaining the jihadist group, the Sunday Express reported.
US operations officer Major Michael Filanowski confirmed the destruction of the ISIS-controlled oil field to reporters in Iraq on Sunday.
“There were strikes last night that struck Daesh-controlled oil refineries, command and control centres and transportation nodes. There were 26 targets and all 26 were struck. That will impact their strategic ability to generate money,” Filanowski was quoted as saying in an Al Arabiya report. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the destruction of the oil field, pipelines and storage facilities.
Despite numerous airstrikes by the US-led coalition and then by Russia, this was the first time that the ISIS-controlled oil refineries were hit. Russian jets also destroyed a bridge crucial to the ISIS’ supply chain, The Sunday Express reported.
Colonel General Andrey Kartapolov, the deputy chief of the General Staff of Russia, confirmed that Russian jets struck a major blow to the terror group’s supply line in its latest assault by destroying a bridge over the Euphrates River.
The ISIS used this bridge, located in an area under the extremist group’s control, to transfer supplies from Iraq to neighbouring Syria.
“The bridge over the Euphrates River near [the Syrian city of] Deir ez-Zor was a key point of the logistics chain [of ISIS],” Kartapolov said, as quoted by The Sunday Express
“Today, Russian pilots carried out a surgical strike against the object,” he added. The destruction of this bridge is only the latest in the successes claimed by the Russian government in its effort to wipe out the ISIS.
On Saturday, the Russian defence ministry claimed that Moscow had crushed 70 ISIS targets, primarily weapons and ammunition depots in a span of 24 hours. In addition to this, the Russian government has also claimed that its offensive against the ISIS has so far killed hundreds of jihadists in just two weeks.