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Dozens of IS oil tankers 'obliterated by US strikes' Open in fullscreen

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Dozens of IS oil tankers 'obliterated by US strikes'

It is not clear whether drivers were forewarned of the strikes [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 August, 2016

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The US claims it has destroyed dozens of oil tankers operated by the Islamic State in airstrikes conducted in Syria over the weekend.
A coalition airstrike destroyed 83 oil tankers used by the Islamic State group over the weekend in eastern Syria, the US military said on Monday.

Pentagon spokesman Matthew Allen said the strike was conducted by "multiple coalition aircraft" on Sunday evening near Albu Kamal, in Deir ez-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 IS.

Operation Tidal Wave II, named after a World War II mission to bomb oil refineries, has seen the US-led coalition conduct a series of strikes on the IS group'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 IS members.

It was not immediately clear if drivers were warned ahead of Sunday's strike.

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