US says ISIL-run oil refineries targeted

2014-09-24 22:41:13 | Al Muslim News
US says ISIL-run oil refineries targeted


US-led air strikes have targeted oil refineries controlled by the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) group in eastern Syria for a third day, US officials say. Saudi Arabia and the UAE joined in the strikes by piloted and drone aircraft targeting facilities around al-Mayadeen, al-Hasakah, and Abu Kamal, the US military said on Wednesday. Only hours later, David Cameron, UK prime minister, told the UN General Assembly that Britain should join the US-led air strikes against the ISIL in Iraq, adding that his country's parliament has been recalled to secure approval. "I am therefore recalling the British parliament on Friday to secure approval for the UK to take part in international air strikes against the ISIL in Iraq," Cameron told the 193-member UN General Assembly. Oil refineries hit In its statement on Wednesday, the US Central Command said there were a total of 13 strikes against 12 modular oil refineries controlled by ISIL fighters as well as another strike that destroyed an ISIL vehicle. "We are still assessing the outcome of the attack on the refineries, but have initial indications that the strikes were successful," the Central Command said.Modular refineries are prefabricated and constructed off-site so they can be transported and made operational quickly. The US military said the refineries were capable of producing millions in revenue and provided fuel for the group's operations. "These small-scale refineries provided fuel to run [ISIL] operations, money to finance their continued attacks throughout Iraq and Syria, and an economic asset to support their future operations," the military said. It is unclear how much crude or refined oil the ISIL is managing to sell. The group is producing less than 100,000 barrels of crude oil a day, Adam Sieminski, head of the US Energy Information Administration, said on Wednesday. Nicholas Rasmussen, deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Centre, testified to US Congress this month that the Islamic State's war chest probably included about $1m a day in revenues from black-market oil sales as well as smuggling, robberies and ransom payments for hostages. Activists said more strikes hit the Kurdish-dominated Syrian town of Kobani, an area that have been besieged by ISIL fighters for past week. Tens of thousands of residents have been fleeing the ISIL assault on the town over the past few days. But as Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker reported from the Syrian-Turkish border, many residents were returning to Kobani on Wednesday upon hearing the reports of the strikes on ISIL. "A lot of the Kurds who are going back to Syria are young men who want to take the matter in their own hand and fight the ISIL on their land," she said. Turkey said neither its air force nor the US airbase in southern Turkey had been used, our correspondent said. The US has launched nearly 200 strikes in Iraq in recent weeks against ISIL fighters, who have captured wide expanses of land in Iraq and Syria over the past few months. Fighters evacuate Activists in Syria said that fighters of al-Qaeda's Syrian branch, the Nusra Front, were evacuating their bases and positions in the northeastern province of Idlib. Ahrar al-Sham, one of the most influential Syrian rebel groups with ties to Nusra, was also evacuating its positions in the region. The evacuations came a day after US air strikes hit a group of al-Qaeda fighters in Aleppo province, on the border with Idlib. The strikes killed at least 70 fighters, as well as eight civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group. The Syrian government is watching with caution the latest developments in the areas it fell out of its control more than a year ago, according to one of its minister. Ali Haidar, Syria's minister for national reconciliation, told Reuters news agency that the US-led strikes were so far going in the "right direction" because the government had been informed before they started and they were not hitting civilians or Syrian military targets..

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