U.S. bombs IS trucks

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U.S. military video purports to show a coalition airstrike bombing Islamic State oil trucks in Syria. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

U.S. bombs IS trucks

ROUGH CUT (no reporter narration)

STORY: U.S.-led air strikes targeted Islamic State’s main oil-producing region, as Washington intensifies efforts to disrupt a key revenue source estimated to provide more than $1 million (USD) a day to the militant group.

New video released by the U.S. military purports to show a coalition airstrike bombing several Islamic State oil trucks. According to the U.S. military, the airstrikes happened on Sunday (November 22) near the Syrian towns of Al Hassakah and Dayr Az Zawr.

The grainy black and white video shows oil trucks being bombed and blown up.

The stepped-up bombing campaign has also targeted oil and gas separation plants, oil rigs, pumps and storage tanks, according to a Reuters tally of air strikes provided by the Pentagon since Oct 22.

The campaign marks a more aggressive U.S. approach. Such targets had previously been considered off limits by the U.S.-led coalition as it sought to avoid civilian casualties and limit the damage to oil infrastructure that could be needed later by a new Syrian government.

The Pentagon said the air strikes in Syria have inflicted “significant damage” to Islamic State’s ability to fund itself. Dubbed “Tidal Wave II”, the strikes have been concentrated on oil facilities near Dayr Az Zawr and Abu Kamal, which provide an estimated two-thirds of Islamic State’s oil revenue.

It remains unclear how far along the Pentagon campaign on Islamic State oil infrastructure is toward achieving U.S. objectives and how much bigger the pool of potential targets might be. In the past, Islamic State has been able to repair oil facilities damaged in air strikes in as little as 24 hours.

The goal this time is to knock oil fields out of commission for a year or more without destroying them completely. That would deprive the extremist group of revenues but allow oil resources to be accessed by other forces if and when Islamic State is forced out of the territory it currently occupies.

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