The U.S. and its allies are putting the squeeze on ISIS finances by targeting and blowing up money reserves worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.”
U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren, the spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF -OIR), told reporters that there have been 10 strikes against what the military calls “Daesh cash” depots in a briefing on Wednesday morning.
“We use all of the sources of intelligence available to us to find targets,” said Warren regarding the process CJTF-OIR forces use to find these depots.
The Pentagon released a video of one of the air strikes on a cash depot January 18 which showed thousands of bills fluttering in the air after the building housing them was hit by ordnance.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 18, 2016
Warren explained that while strikes against ISIS finances are not knock-out blows, they do serve an important purpose in the long term. Instead, he said the strikes are “body blows,” which act like a “shot to the gut” that may not be visible in the immediate, but will help take down ISIS in the long term.
— Inherent Resolve (@CJTFOIR) February 17, 2016
In addition to blowing up cash reserves, coalition forces have put special emphasis on targeting ISIS oil revenues, which at their height were bringing in $500 million per year.
The destruction of the ISIS financial network has forced the organization to cut fighter’s salaries in half, said Warren. Fighters in Fallujah who once were paid $400 a month are now reportedly paid nothing and have had meals cut to two a day. Hostages, once ransomed for millions, are now being sold for as little as $500 dollars in order for the radical Islamic terror group to make end’s meet.
“You can sense the frustration, their morale is down,” said a man named Oussama, who once lived under ISIS rule, in regard to ISIS fighters to the Associated Press.
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