Speed Reads


U.S. and Arab airstrikes hit ISIS oil targets again, for good reason

U.S. and Gulf Arab airstrikes and missiles hit ISIS oil refineries and other targets early Friday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an organization housed in Britain with extensive contacts in Syria. The U.S. says six U.S. fighter jets and 10 Arab jets conducted similar strikes on ISIS-controlled refineries on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, and U.S. Central Command even released video of some of the strikes:

Friday morning's raids, in northern and eastern Syria, hit a regional ISIS headquarters and vehicles ISIS had buried for protection, activists say, but the main target is ISIS's lucrative black market petroleum business, Pentagon officials say. ISIS's oil refineries produced 300 to 500 barrels of oil a day before the strikes, U.S. Central Command estimates, earning the terrorist group up to $2 million a day. So far, the airstrikes have done little to stop the advance of ISIS on Kurdish cities along the Turkish border. But destroying ISIS's revenue sources is probably a smart move in the long game the U.S. seems committed to.