Having shifted the focus of their air war on ISIS away from the oil trade and toward blowing up physical paper money, the Pentagon is bragging today that they’ve destroyed in excess of $500 million in paper money in strikes on “cash distribution centers,” mostly in Iraq but also some in Syria.
Pentagon officials have conceded in the past that strikes on Mosul cash points have killed a number of civilians, though they have characterized it as an “acceptable” death toll for the size of the piles of currency destroyed in the salvos.
US officials have followed that up with the claim that ISIS is subsequently “cash-strapped,” though this appears to be based wholly on anecdotal claims from a handful of “activists” in ISIS-held territory that the group has somewhat pared back its spending, reducing cash bonuses for children born in its territory and had reduced salaries in some jobs.
In addition to the paper money, the Pentagon also claimed to have destroyed 20 kg of gold, worth roughly $750,000. This seems particularly unlikely, as conventional arms can’t really “destroy” gold, and at most could melt it and scatter it about it bit.