Syria’s once-lucrative oil wells and refineries have become history as the U.S.-led coalition bombs the Jafra oil fields in the eastern Syrian province of Deir el-Zour.
Russia, China and the Netherlands all had oil interests in Syria prior to the civil war that has raged across Israel’s northern neighbor for the past three years. But those days are long gone.
The coalition carried out at least four air strikes on the oil fields late Wednesday (Oct. 22), according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
At present, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization is in control of the oil fields and the oil pipeline that carries the black gold to its consumers.
ISIS is believed to rake in about $1 million per day from the oil wells and their associated pipelines. Some of those supplies are believed to be purchased by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad himself, despite his stance as an enemy of the terrorist organization.
Now that the oil wells themselves have been destroyed, the U.S. and its allies are considering whether to expand their operations to include bombing the oil pipelines as well.
But bombing the oil pipelines may not finish the task, since some of the supplies are likely sent by tanker to other customers, analysts say. It is suspected that at least one of the buyers may even be in Turkey, and the other in Iraq. Both nations are fighting ISIS, although not nearly with the ferocity shown by the Kurds or Syrians.
ISIS also controls the oil fields in Iraq, which has made it one of the wealthiest and most self-sufficient terror organizations in the world, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
“The financing of this barbaric organization allows it to continue its operations,” U.S. deputy assistant secretary for European affairs Julieta Valls Noyes told The Telegraph while in London. “What we have to do is degrade its abilities and ultimately to destroy it.”