Air raids disrupt jihadist oil operations in Syria

US-led air strikes in Syria disrupted the Islamic State group's lucrative oil-pumping operations as Britain's parliament on Friday debated joining anti-jihadist raids in neighbouring Iraq.

AFP| Last Updated: Sep 27, 2014, 01:03 AM IST

Damascus: US-led air strikes in Syria disrupted the Islamic State group's lucrative oil-pumping operations as Britain's parliament on Friday debated joining anti-jihadist raids in neighbouring Iraq.

As MPs in London prepared to vote on whether to join the military campaign in Iraq against the IS, American planes destroyed four tanks operated by militants in Syria as well as several vehicles and jihadist positions in neighbouring Iraq, the Pentagon said.

The US-led coalition also bombed oil refineries in east and northeast Syria where IS jihadists extract crude for sale on the black market, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group.

In recent days, Washington and its allies have taken aim at the funding sources of what US President Barack Obama has branded a "network of death".

Experts say sales of oil from Syria and Iraq usually earn IS between USD 1 million and USD 3 million a day.

But now, according to activists in Deir Ezzor, pumping has stopped.

"Oil extraction has been halted because of the security situation," said Leith al-Deiri who spoke to AFP via the Internet.

Another activist from Deir Ezzor, Rayan al-Furati, confirmed the halt.

"There are no traders or clients going to the fields, fearing the strikes," he said, also via the Internet.

In London, Prime Minister David Cameron sought to convince members of parliament that Britain should join military action against IS in Iraq.

He also warned that such involvement could last years, saying the "hallmarks" of the campaign would be "patience and persistence, not shock and awe".