Russian airstrikes have hit more than 200 targets in 24 hours as Moscow aims to cut off the Islamic States income by taking out refinery and oil trucks.
Moscow had announced last night that its warplanes would be hunting ISIS oil tanker trucks in Syria, a day after it was confirmed that a ‘terrorist attack’ had brought down a Russian passenger plane in October
The General Staff said that around 500 fuel tanker vehicles transporting illegal oil from Syria to Iraq for processing had been destroyed by Russia’s Air Forces.
“In recent years, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other extremist groups have organized the operations of the so-called ‘pipeline on wheels’ on the territories they control,” Russian General Staff spokesman Colonel General Andrey Kartapolov said.
Hundreds of thousands of tons of fuel have been delivered to Iraq for processing by trucks and the revenue generated from these illegal exports is the one of the terrorists’ main sources of funding, he said.
The spokesman displayed images showing convoys comprised of hundreds of vehicles transporting oil to back his assertion.
“In just the first few days, our aviation has destroyed 500 fuel tanker trucks, which greatly reduced illegal oil export capabilities of the militants and, accordingly, their income from oil smuggling,” Kartapolov stressed.
The spokesman also said that the Russian military has begun developing proposals for joint military action with the French Navy against the terrorists in accordance with an order by President Vladimir Putin.
Last month it was revealed ISIS was still making more than £320million a year from oil, despite the US-led bombing campaign which was meant to break up the insurgency.