Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday that the country’s military has destroyed numerous ISIS-controlled oil tankers and oil infrastructure, steeply cutting into the chief revenue stream of the terrorist group.
Shoigu presented a report to President Vladimir Putin Friday that Russian aircraft destroyed 15 oil refining and storage facilities in Syria and 525 oil tanker trucks during this week’s airstrikes.
Source: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
The Russian Ministry of Defense also reported that 60,000 tons of oil every 24 hours were prevented from being delivered to the black market, and that ISIS “lost the opportunity to receive $1.5 million dollars in revenue per day.”
Russia’ has been conducting an air campaign in Syria since September 30, throwing its support behind President Bashar al-Assad. However on Tuesday, the country significantly intensified the airstrikes after confirmation that a Russian plane in Egypt was downed by an ISIS-planted bomb. All 224 people on board the plane were killed- most of them Russian tourists.
Earlier this week at the G20 Summit in Turkey, Putin met with President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande, among other Western leaders, to discuss cooperation in fighting ISIS. Both US and French forces have conducted heavy strikes on ISIS this week as well.
France’s Hollande plans to visit Washington and Moscow next week for discussions on joint military action against ISIS. Earlier this week, Putin ordered the the Russian military to cooperate with the French. Russian state TV on Friday showed Russian air force ground troops writing “For Ours!” and “For Paris!” on bombs being loaded onto Russian aircraft, the AP reports.
Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with President Vladimir Putin
Shoigu says Russian aircraft have flown 522 missions, destroying more than 800 targets over the past four days. He added that Russian navy ships and long-range bombers have fired 101 cruise missiles in the last four days as well, including 18 fired Friday from the Caspian Sea by Russian navy ships.
Shoigu said the strikes over the past week inflicted significant casualties on ISIS. This included over 600 militants killed in only one strike in Deir el-Zour province. The AP could not independently confirm this report.
Putin praised his military’s performance throughout the week. However, he added that “there is still a lot of work to do … to rid Syria of militants and terrorists and protect Russia from possible terror attacks.”
Meanwhile, Shoigu said at the end of his briefing to Putin, “All the assigned missions were accomplished. The Armed Forces have passed to the next stage of the operation.”
The battle wages on.
Read The Full Russian Ministry of Defense Report On This Week’s Mission