Accelerating its attacks on one of the Islamic State’s most important sources of income, the U.S. military said Monday it destroyed 283 tanker trucks used by the militants to transport oil from producing fields in eastern Syria to smuggling points.
The attack by four A-10 attack planes and two AC-130 gunships was carried out Saturday at a site near Deir el-Zour and al-Hasakah but not reported until Monday. It followed a similar assault on Nov. 15 that destroyed 116 tanker trucks and is part of a broader air campaign, dubbed Operation Tidal Wave II, designed to cripple the militants’ oil producing, refining and distribution system. The U.S. has said oil provides about half the group’s total income.
Until the Nov. 15, the U.S. had refrained from attacking oil trucks, fearing it could cause unintended civilian deaths.