WASHINGTON: A coalition airstrike destroyed 83 oil tankers used by ISIS over the weekend in eastern Syria, the U.S. military announced Monday.
Pentagon spokesman Matthew Allen said the strike was conducted by “multiple coalition aircraft” Sunday evening near Albukamal, in Deir al-Zor province along Syria’s border with Iraq.
“This strike is a component of ongoing Tidal Wave II operation designed to attack the distribution network of Daesh’s oil-smuggling operation and degrade their capacity to fund their operations,” Allen said, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
Operation Tidal Wave II, named after a World War II mission to bomb oil refineries, has seen the U.S.-led coalition conduct a series of strikes on ISIS’s oil infrastructure.
In just two strikes last year, coalition planes destroyed about 400 tankers that were lined up in the desert waiting to take on illicit oil.
In those cases, the United States dropped pamphlets warning drivers of the imminent strike. The Pentagon said the drivers were not ISIS members.
It was not immediately clear if drivers were warned ahead of Sunday’s strike.