The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday that more than 40% of ISIS’s oil revenue has been impacted by US-led strikes over the past month.
“We estimate that approximately 43 percent of the revenue stream that ISIL derives from oil has been affected over the past 30 days,” US General Joseph Dunford said in testimony to the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday morning.
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford
2 Key Components To Military Campaign
General Dunford was joined by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter at the Tuesday morning hearing, where both officials updated Congress on the current US anti-ISIS campaign in Syria and Iraq. They also addressed the recent surge in airstrikes targeting ISIS’s revenue stream.
General Dunford said that ISIS’s primary sources of strength are its claim to be a caliphate, its narrative, and its manpower. The effort to take out its revenue sources- mainly oil- is aimed at diminishing and eventually eliminating these sources of strength.
“To be successful, the coalition’s military campaign must reduce ISIL’s territorial control, undermine its brand and aura of invincibility, and destroy its war fighting capability,” Dunford said.
“There are two critical components of our military campaign to achieve those ends: the first is to conduct strikes against ISIL targets.” A key aim in doing so is to “deny them their sources of revenue…” The second component is assembling partners on the ground in Syria to join forces in fighting the group.
Detailed Analysis Of Iraq & Syria Oil Infrastructure Complete
General Dunford also explained why there has been a surge in US coalition airstrikes on ISIS-controlled oil infrastructure in recent weeks.
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter
Last spring, a detailed analysis was conducted “on the oil infrastructure in Syria and Iraq to identify the critical nodes that, if targeted, would have the greatest impact on the revenue stream of ISIL,” he said.
After several months of study, the findings were brought to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary Carter about 4 weeks ago. The findings of the study enabled the US-led coalition to more accurately pinpoint the “critical nodes” of ISIS-controlled oil infrastructure and to ramp up airstrikes accordingly.