According to Pentagon officials, a series of Saturday airstrikes against ISIS-held territory in the Hasakeh and Deir Ezzor Provinces in eastern Syria destroyed 283 fuel tankers, which were being used to transport oil around the territory.
This is the second major series of attacks on fuel tankers there in less than a week, as on the previous Sunday US offiicals claimed to have destroyed 116 other tankers, claiming they were being used the facilitate ISIS oil smuggling operations.
Despite the claims, the tankers were not owned by ISIS, but by private operators. The Pentagon said it had previously avoided the fuel trucks over fears of civilian casualties, and said it dropped leaflets ahead of these recent attacks to warn drivers to abandon their trucks ahead of the bombings. It’s unclear how many were killed in the strikes.
Though US officials are presenting the attacks as meant to stop ISIS profiting off of oil exports, so far the destruction has simply reduced the amount of available supply for smugglers and meant rising prices in the areas served by the smuggling operations.