Air strikes staged by a US-led coalition against Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) targets have hit three makeshift refineries in Syria that are believed to be held by the armed group which has stoked havoc in the region and worldwide.
An ISIL command and control node, which were also in north of Raqa, were hit in the raids, US Central Command said in a statement.
“Although we continue to assess the outcome of these attacks, initial indications are that they were successful,” the statement said, according to the AFP news agency.
The US, together with its five Arab allies of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan, started a campaign against the armed group last week, aiming to curb its advances, and trimming its control over large stretches of territory straddling northwestern Iraq and eastern Syria.
The targeting of oil refineries is aimed at blocking funding to the group which has seized most of Syria’s main oil fields. The ISIL is believed to sell oil on the black market to partly sell the
According to analysts, fighters were earning as much as $3m a day from oil reserves prior to the launching of the US-led air strikes.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based organization that has been monitoring the Syian civil war, said in a statement that the makeshift oil refineries were “owned by civilians” and not fighters. In a statement posted on its website, the observatory said a civilian was also killed when a plastic factory in Raqa’s suburbs was attacked.
Al Jazeera was unable to immediately verify these reports.
Attacks also destroyed a tank and damaged another near Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria. U-S central command said an ISIL building and two tanks were destroyed near the town of Ain al-Arab, on the Turkish borders, where clashes between the Kurdish Peshmerga and ISIL fighters have driven thousands of Syrian Kurds into Turkey to flee the violence .
In Iraq, a safe house near Baghdad was destroyed and a checkpoint damaged.
“Three airstrikes near Fallujah destroyed two ISIL checkpoints and an ISIL transport vehicle,” the statement added.
The United States and Arab allies launched air strikes against ISIL in northern and eastern Syria on Tuesday, more than a month after Washington began its air war on fighters in Iraq.