Air strikes destroy hundreds of millions of ISIS' dollars
Hundreds of millions of dollars are believed to have been destroyed in coalition air strikes targeting cash hoards used to finance the Islamic State group, a spokesman for the American military said Wednesday, according to AFP.
Coalition aircraft struck ten more of the cash collection points over the weekend, said Colonel Steve Warren, the spokesman for the American-led campaign against IS in Iraq and Syria.
"We don't have a hard number that we're prepared to release. We believe it is in the hundreds of millions of dollars," Warren was quoted by AFP as having told Pentagon reporters in a video conference from Baghdad.
"Obviously it is impossible to burn up every single bill. So presumably they were able to collect a little bit of it back. But we believe it was a significant series of strikes that have put a real dent in their wallet," he said.
Targeting the cash hoards is part of a broader strategy to disrupt the group's sources of revenue.
In January, An the international coalition destroyed a cash storage facility used by ISIS jihadists in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
It was estimated at the time that the bombs destroyed millions of dollars worth of cash.
ISIS has been described as the richest terrorist organization in the world and has even been the target of an economic campaign which aims to expose the inner economic workings of ISIS and related groups and to stop its campaigning through social media networks.
Warren said the impact of the targeting of the group’s cash flow can be seen in reports that ISIS has had to cut salaries paid to its fighters, sometimes by as much as half.
"So this to us is a very significant indicator that these strikes against their ability to generate revenue are beginning to squeeze them a little bit," he said, according to AFP.
AFP contributed to this report.