Coalition says airstrikes have slashed 90 percent of ISIS oil exports

Tags: Iraq Syria ISIS.
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ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The US-led coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS) said Monday it had shut down 90 percent of the group’s oil export capacity, in some 9,000 air strikes this year in Iraq and Syria.

"Coalition forces curbed ISIS capacity in the export of oil by 90 percent,” coalition spokesman Steve Warren said in Baghdad.

"The international coalition carried out 9,000 air strikes in Iraq and Syria during 2015," he said.

As Iraqi forces gear up for an major offensive to push ISIS out of Ramadi – capital of the country’s largest Anbar province – Warren said there would be no US ground forces taking part in the operations, which Baghdad said would take place this week.

Warren said that thousands of ISIS militants had been killed in airstrikes, and that hundreds of shelters and buildings used by the militants or its affiliates were destroyed.

He added that 40 percent of areas that had been held by ISIS – which stormed into Iraq and captured a third of the country in a June 2014 blitzkrieg – had been reclaimed by Iraqi joint forces."The terrorist organization (ISIS) lost more than 40 percent of the land in Tikrit and Baiji, and soon in Ramadi," he said.

Warren also expressed pleasure at "the Turkish withdrawal from Iraqi territory," referring to an announcement by Ankara that it was pulling out forces that had been near Mosul.

The spokesman said that "the arrival of a US special force to perform (military) tasks was at the request of the Iraqi government."

He denied Russian allegations that the coalition was bombing Iraqi soldiers deliberately, saying those reports were “incorrect.”

Iraq said Saturday that nine of its soldiers were killed when US-led coalition warplanes mistakenly struck the troops near the ISIS-controlled city of Fallujah.


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