US airstrikes destroy $500 mn ISIS cash reserves, 20 kg gold
US airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria have reportedly destroyed more than $500 million cash reserves and 20 kilogrammes of gold stored by the terror group. The estimate comes amid reports that the terror group is facing cash shortage in its so-called caliphate, slashing the perks and salaries of its fighters across the region.
Recent reports have stated that the extremist group has started accepting only dollars for “tax” payments, water and electric bills. The USA believes that airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have destroyed more than USD 500 million in cash that ISIS used to pay its fighters and fund its terror and military operations, ABC News reported.
That is probably a low estimate. An official said the figure is in “the high hundreds of millions of dollars.” An additional 20 kilogrammes of gold is also believed to have been destroyed by the airstrikes, the report said. As part of the effort to weaken ISIS, the US military has struck at the terror group’s finances, particularly its lucrative oil smuggling enterprise in Syria that provides revenue for its operations. The US also began targeting ISIS “cash distribution centres” in Syria where it stored hard cash used for its operations.
Ten strikes have been conducted since then with the most high profile being two airstrikes in Mosul, in northern Iraq, targeting facilities that American officials characterised as ISIS banks. As proof of their successful targeting the US-led coalition released video of one of the Mosul airstrikes that showed what appeared to be large amounts of bills fluttering in the air after the airstrike.