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Coalition Air Strikes 'Cut IS Oil Revenues By Third'

  • RFE/RL

The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State (IS) militants says its air strikes have cut oil production by the group in Syria and Iraq by around 30 percent.

A coalition spokesman, U.S. Colonel Steve Warren, said on January 6 that 65 strikes over the past three months had targeted oil facilities and cut production to 34,000 barrels a day, down from 45,000 earlier.

IS fighters have used oil smuggling to fund their operations since seizing large swaths of Syrian and Iraqi territory last year.

In October, U.S. officials shifted their air strikes' targets and unveiled new sanctions aimed at squeezing the group financially.

Warren also said that 2,500 IS fighters were killed in coalition air strikes across Iraq and Syria last month.

He said there were between 20,000 and 30,000 militants of the group in the two countries, including foreign recruits.

On January 5, Warren said the IS group had lost 40 percent of its territory in Iraq and 20 percent in Syria since the air strikes began.

With reporting by Reuters