US-led strikes hit Islamic State group oil sites for second day
Beirut: Warplanes from the US-led coalition bombed oil installations and other facilities in territory controlled by Islamic State militants in eastern Syria for a second consecutive day on Friday, activists said.
The strikes hit two oil areas in Deir el-Zour province a day after the United States and its Arab allies pummeled a dozen makeshift oil producing facilities in the same area near Syria's border with Iraq. The raids aim to cripple one of the militants' primary sources of cash — black market oil sales that the US says earn up to $2 million a day.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes overnight and early Friday hit the Tink oil field as well as the Qouriyeh oil-producing area in Deir el-Zour. It said air raids also targeted the headquarters of the Islamic State group in the town of Mayadeen.
Another activist collective, the Local Coordination Committees, also reported four strikes on Mayadeen that it said were conducted by the coalition. The observatory, which relies on a network of activists inside Syria, said there were reports of casualties in the strikes, but did not have concrete figures.
The US-led coalition, which began its aerial campaign against Islamic State fighters in Syria early Tuesday, aims to roll back and ultimately crush the extremist group that has created a proto-state spanning the Syria-Iraq border.
Along the way, the militants have massacred captured Syrian and Iraqi troops, terrorized minorities in both countries and beheaded two American journalists and a British aid worker.