The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, control large parts of Syria’s northern territory. ISIL sent its fighters into Iraq in June, quickly seizing vast expanse of land straddling the border between the two countries.
SHAFAQNA– US, 24 Sep – The Pentagon says the United States and its partners have resumed airstrikes against the ISIL terrorist group in Syria.
“I can confirm that US military and Arab partner forces are undertaking additional strikes today against ISIL terrorists in Syria,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon.
“These operations are ongoing so we will not provide additional details at this time,” he added.
On Monday, the Pentagon announced that the US and its allies started bombing ISIL in Syria. Fighter aircraft from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates took part in the airstrikes. The United States has already conducted dozens of airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq since mid-August.
A high-ranking US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the fighter jets also struck oil facilities held by the militants in Syria on Wednesday.
The ISIL terrorists have captured several oilfields in Syria and neighboring Iraq. They rely on them as a vital source of income.
According to reports, ISIL is currently in control of seven oil fields in Iraq and large amounts of the country’s wheat supplies.
The output capacity of the ISIL-held oil fields amounts to 80,000 barrels a day, said the International Energy Agency (IEA) in a monthly oil market report last month.
The potential oil flow from Iraq’s ISIL-held deposits is commensurate to about $8.4 million a day on international markets.
In an interview with Press TV last month, American political analyst Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich said the United States has raised the specter of ISIL in order to stay in the Middle East region for a long time.
She said that “America had long-standing plans to be permanently present in Iraq, and in the Persian Gulf region as a whole. Domination of the Persian Gulf is the lynchpin of US strategy…the presence of ISIL helps them in this goal.”
“It’s very interesting that ISIL has captured towns and regions that have been vital for the US policy in the region — one is the oil-rich [region],” Ulrich said on August 11. “And the other more important aspect…, according to my perspective, is the water factor, and ISIL managed to capture the dams.”