WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State controlled oil infrastructure have cut revenues by about 30 percent since they began in October, a Defense Department spokesperson said Wednesday.
The effort to target IS’ illicit oil sales, dubbed “Operation Tidal Wave II,” dropped production from 45,000 barrels of oil per day before the mission to about 34,000 barrels per day now, said Baghdad-based spokesman for the U.S.-led campaign, U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren.
Experts say IS is unique as a terrorist organization in its funding scheme, pulling resources from within territory it controls rather than from outside donors. These resources include oil, the extortion of locals and sales of antiquities.
Prior to October, Defense officials estimate the group was earning about $47 million per month from oil sales.
The mission thus far expended 65 air strikes, in which not easily replaced equipment needed for oil production and transport trucks were hit.
“In addition to chipping away at their so-called caliphate, killing their leaders, we’re also hitting them in the pocketbook,” Warren said.