Editor’s Note: As we have mentioned before, one way to hurt an enemy’s ability to wage war is to deprive them of the means to pay for it. As the U.S. has stepped up its airstrikes against Daesh, one of the main targets has been financial centers. We even shared a video of one such strike, and the rain of burning millions floating to the ground in its wake. While the targeting of Daesh’s cash flow is certainly having an impact, it’s going to take more than obliterating facilities storing money to rid the world of this problem.
The U.S. airstrike over the weekend of another Islamic State financial site has increased the estimated amount of cash destroyed into the “hundreds of millions,” according to Col. Steve Warren, the Baghdad-based spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve.
It was the 10th airstrike since the fall by U.S. and coalition warplanes targeting Islamic State financial centers in Iraq and Syria. The financial centers are locations where the terror group collects cash to distribute to its fighters as salary or to fund its terror operations.
Warren said the attacks on the financial sites, in combination with airstrikes against Islamic State-controlled oil production facilities and trucks that the group uses to ship oil, has impacted its ability to support its forces.
“We’ve seen reports of [the Islamic State] having to reduce salaries to its fighters, in some cases as much as half,” Warren said Wednesday. ‘They’re cutting people’s salaries, they are cutting wages. This to us is a fairly significant indicator that these strikes against their ability to generate revenue is beginning to squeeze them a little bit.”
Warren said the United States has been able to identify buildings as key financial centers for the Islamic State through intelligence collected.
“It is in the hundreds of millions,” Warren said.
Tara Copp’s original article at Stars and Stripes can be viewed here.
(Featured photo by Scott Wolff)