"Get Out Of Your Trucks And Run Away": US Gives ISIS 45 Minute Warning On Oil Tanker Strikes

Tyler Durden's picture

Last week, in the wake of Russian and US airstrikes on ISIS oil convoys, we asked three important questions: 

  1. Who are the commodity trading firms that have been so generously buying millions of smuggled oil barrels procured by the Islamic State at massive discounts to market, and then reselling them to other interested parties? In other words, who are the middlemen?
  2. Can it possibly be true, as officials now claim, that the Obama administration refrained from bombing Islamic State oil trucks because Washington thought the group was “only” making $100 million per year instead of $400 million? 
  3. Is it likely, considering how cavalier the US is about collateral damage from drone strikes, that The Pentagon refused to take out Islamic State’s revenue stream because the military was afraid of killing a few “innocent” truck drivers who by definition knew they were transporting illegal crude for a terrorist organization?

The first question is, for now anyway, unanswerable. As to the second and third, here’s what we said:

Perhaps the US overestimated the effect its airstrikes were having on Islamic State’s oil production capabilities and perhaps The Pentagon was concerned with killing innocent truck drivers, but it could also be that, as Sergei Lavrov suggested earlier this month, the US has until now intentionally avoided hitting ISIS where it hurts in order to keep them in the game and ensure they can still be effective at destabilizing Assad. If you cut off the oil trade, they lose the ability to battle the regime.

Whatever the case, it's too late now, because just as Russian airstrikes and the Iranian ground presence forced the US to do something - anything - to prove to the world that America is serious about fighting terrorism, Moscow's targeting of ISIS oil convoys has forced the US to get on board (the Russians are going to hit them anyway, so there's no point in vacillating).

American airstrikes reportedly destroyed 116 oil tanker trucks earlier this month and another 280 today in Paris mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud's former fiefdom of Deir ez-Zor. 

Of course the US would hate to catch ISIS off guard risk killing innocent truck drivers, so prior to the November 16 strike, US planes dropped leaflets warning the drivers to "get out of your trucks now, and run away from them." Here's the leaflet (note the stick figures running for their lives):

Here's some commentary from Colonel Steve Warren from Operation Inherent Resolve (delivered at a press conference earlier this month): 

Early Sunday morning in Al-Bukamal, which is the southern blue circle number two, you see two blue circles there. They both represent Tidal Wave II operations, but we're in the southern one -- the one further towards the bottom of your screen, there.


In Al-Bukamal, we destroyed 116 tanker trucks, which we believe will reduce ISIL's ability to transport its stolen oil products.


This is our first strike against tanker trucks, and to minimize risks to civilians, we conducted a leaflet drop prior to the strike. We did a show of force, by -- we had aircraft essentially buzz the trucks at low altitude.


So, I do have copy of the leaflet, and I have got some videos, so why don't you pull the leaflet up. Let me take a look at it so I can talk about it.


As you can see, it's a fairly simple leaflet, it says, "Get out of your trucks now, and run away from them." A very simple message.


And then, also, "Warning: airstrikes are coming. Oil trucks will be destroyed. Get away from your oil trucks immediately. Do not risk your life."


And so, these are the leaflets that we dropped -- about 45 minutes before the airstrikes actually began.

And here's an amusing bit from the post-presser Q&A: 

Q: On Bob's question, too, if -- if it's so important to cut off the oil shipments, the critical revenue source for ISIS, why did it take so long to take out 116 oil tanker trucks?


COL. WARREN: No, that's a great question, Jim. Thanks for asking it.


So, a little history on Operation Tidal Wave II. Initially, we, you know, we have been striking oil infrastructure targets since the very beginning of this operation.


What we found out was that many of our strikes were only minimally effective. We would strike pieces of the oil infrastructure that were easily repaired.


When we came to that realization, we conducted some more study -- I think I talked about this last week, a little bit -- we conducted some more study, and determined how to better strike the oil infrastructure itself, different pieces of the system.


During the course of that study, we also determined that part of the illicit oil system, from the oil coming out of the ground at a -- at a pump head, to the end of that chain, which is the distribution network.


So, this is a decision that we had to make. We have not struck these trucks before. We assessed that these trucks, while although they are being used for operations that support ISIL, the truck drivers, themselves, probably not members of ISIL; they're probably just civilians. So we had to figure out a way around that. We're not in this business to kill civilians, we're in this business to stop ISIL -- to defeat ISIL.

So basically, it took the US 13 months to figure out that the best way to cripple Islamic State's oil trade was to bomb - the oil.

To the extent that occurred to anyone previously, the idea was dismissed because the truck drivers are "probably not members of ISIL." Well then who are they? Sure, they may not be suiting up in all black and firing RPGs at Toyota Corollas packed with "spies" for a propaganda video, but it's not like they don't know who they're working for.

Also, as mentioned above, the US hasn't exactly been shy about engaging targets even when there are women, children, and bedridden hospital patients in the vicinity so it's hard to imagine that anyone at the Pentagon was worried about Islamic State's truck drivers.

Whatever the case, the US is apprently set to give ISIS a 45 minute heads up when The Pentagon plans to bomb an oil convoy which we suppose makes sense.

It's the least the CIA can do for an old friend.

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PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) Nov 23, 2015 2:58 PM

Whatever you "government" types do, don't ask who is buying this dirty oil.

Looney's picture

Strangely enough, we tell everybody that we’ve hit 116 trucks, while showing the Russian bombs hitting THEIR targets.

Google the PBS coverage on 116 trucks...

Forward!  ;-)


aint no fortunate son's picture

Looks like Barry's lining himself up for another Nobel Peace Prize...

knukles's picture

That's fair. They weren't wearing Redskins jerseys

Welfare Tycoon's picture

Tell this to the civilians who were involved in your area of drone strike operations. 

This shit is getting so outlandish and rediculous that I do not understand how anyone believes anything that the government says anymore. 

SWRichmond's picture

it's not like they don't know who they're working for.

The exact same could be said of all US taxpayers.  We are the ones paying for this.

AlaricBalth's picture

I wish they had given me 45 minutes notice before the FBI showed up. Couldn't they at least have given me a leaflet drop.

0b1knob's picture

So instead of dropping  million dollar  laser guided bombs to destroy old trucks they bring the entire convoy to a halt with $20 worth of leaflets.

CIA is a lot smarter than you guys seem to think.

gmrpeabody's picture

Those crazy Ruskies dropped their bombs first..., then dropped the leaflets.

Anonymous User's picture
Anonymous User (not verified) gmrpeabody Nov 23, 2015 5:23 PM

That's the proper way to do it.

I just hope one of these days the ruskies will get hold of Obama and take her on a fun ride




Now I understand why Obama likes so much golfing. Is because of those long clubs. 

MANvsMACHINE's picture

This is just another version of "Cash for Clunkers"

See truck sales EXPLODE after watching trucks EXPLODE!

tdag's picture

Did they drop leaflets before bombing the MSF hospital last month?

A Nanny Moose's picture

Zing!!! Heads are exploding.

RAT005's picture

Because ISIS lives matter :-(

nmewn's picture

I'm stealing that ;-)

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) nmewn Nov 23, 2015 9:02 PM

The US wasn't issuing a threat, they were informing their creation on pending Russian military action.

COSMOS's picture

Note how the USA gives the ISIS guys advance warning to make sure they survive.  I am sure they will give them radio warning before they bomb also....hmmmm


Fish Gone Bad's picture

 #TruckDriversMatter ?  Or perhaps #IsisTruckDriversMatter !

Occident Mortal's picture

Turkey just shot down a Russian jet.






Things are about to get extremely uncomfortable.


Remember Turkey is in NATO. How does this look from the Russian side? NATO have just shot down a Russian jet.


What could possibly go wrong?

kralizec's picture

Turkey may be in NATO but they are in no way "Western", but then again in no way should the US belong to NATO either, they should have left Europe once the Soviet Union fell.

If there is any retaliation Russia should warn the US and NATO it has a beef with Turkey, otherwise kinetic activity will spread beyond the rough outlines it is operating in.

Then again a case could be made that nobody should be bothering anybody an be in anybody's yard...but such common sense died a long time ago.

Oh heck, just light all the fuses and be done with it!

HowdyDoody's picture

So Turkey is the location of Alan's Snackbar.

Surviver22's picture
Surviver22 (not verified) COSMOS Nov 24, 2015 6:03 AM

It's the greatest threat global security has ever faced.

All the weapons in the world won't matter once ISIS army kick into gear!


Paveway IV's picture

Russia takes out 500 tankers, the U.S. responds by reporting that they took out 116 (but use Russian footage as 'proof')

Now the U.S. claims to have taken out a couple hundred (without Russain footage this time). What's Russia done in the mean time? Took out 500 more, but also took out the ISIS-held Thayyem refinery, located 10km from downtown Deir Ezzor. Why didn't Russia bomb the bigger refineries in the Omar fields? Because they already blew them to hell last week. 

So what has France been up to? They're really pissed, right? Looks like they're using the U.S. strategy, according to Al Jazzera:

However, a media activist in Raqqa, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that French air strikes had targeted abandoned ISIL bases in the suburbs of the city where there are no civilians or ISIL fighters. 

ISIS must be terrified of leaving any of their bases now, "We can't just abandon it - the French will bomb it!"

Lore's picture

Being careful to avoid hitting McCain's drinking buddies?

US Spent a Year Bombing Syrian Desert, Not ISIL

US TV Depicts Russian ISIS Tanker Strikes as American

Time to go back to background screen captures from video games?  After all, they worked so well in depicting "invasion conveys" crossing the Russian border into Ukraine.

Manthong's picture

Y’know, I just heard something about Stop Orders being eliminated on exchanges.

That sounded curious but I do not care because I eliminated Go Orders a couple of years ago.

It sounds like we are getting close to the non-Caucasian swan.


..coming to a shopping venue near you..

Share the love   er, terror.


scintillator9's picture

That is correct Manthong:


The New York Stock Exchange, in a statement, said it would no longer accept what are called stop orders, beginning Feb. 26, joining the Nasdaq in barring them. Another order type called good-till-canceled also is being axed.

And another Fed meeting on November 30 to discuss Dodd - Frank Emergency Lending Changes.


Obviously, all is well,  Everything is Awesome., and I could really use some Unicorn rainbow twist ice cream.......


BarnacleBill's picture

A perfect response to this report!

The Pope's picture

@gmpea - Crazy 'IVAN'


Just spray paint a 'STAR OF DAVID' on top of your oil tanker. You'll be as safe as a Clinton at a Bilderberg meeting.

Vincent.Vega's picture

... and also be safe during the Passover/Pesach, "the Redemption and Deliverance of Elohim"...

Manthong's picture

Good ones, but…

Izzat anything like a Bush at a Skull and Bones black orgy?

..or maybe an Obama/Kerry/Gore at a locked down Paris energy tax/grab summit after an engineered massacre?

"this is too important for humanity"

yeah, right.


Another Inconvenient Truth? New NASA Study Finds Antarctica Is Gaining Ice 

CO 2 Levels Hit Record High for 30th Year in a Row 

Studies flip 'climate change' notions upside down...

Lake Tahoe snow blasted with 'most in years'...

Paris deal 'not legally binding'...


oh crud.. nobody in this space seems to have a clue..

replaceme's picture

We may be paying, but they sure ain't working for us. Knowwhatimean?

Rabbi Chaim Cohen's picture

On the back it says "Maybe try transporting by other means? Unfortunately, we need to make it look like we aren't your lifeline, Sorry!"

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

Medecins sans-frontiers: 'no leaflet for you!'

turnoffthewater's picture

Saudi: Anything to get the price of oil up. Bomb the supply chain.

MIC: But your highness, we need don't want to hurt innocent ISIS, we need them, plus they are on your payroll. wink, wink

Saudi: Well tell them to get out of the trucks first.

MIC: YES, SIR! I mean your highness. (now why didn't I think of that)

palmereldritch's picture


Psychopathes Sans Frontières

Freddie's picture

The zio-USSA does not drop leaflets warning hospitals before they bomb them.

Lore's picture

Hospitals, weddings, tomaytoes, tomahtoes... Let's call the whole thing off.

sodbuster's picture

That's more warning than what they will give to any American, when they come for them.

NoDebt's picture

We should have used a picture of a Mig in that photo.  Truth in advertising and all that jazz.

Sudden Debt's picture

Imagine that the Russians would have blown them to kingdom come 3 minutes later :)


But I guess America wouldn't have allowed their alies from being shot...

Chuckster's picture

What colors do you think the white house will be lite up in?  It will be another epic achievement.

Calmyourself's picture

Something about this in the koran.

"is not for a believer to kill a believer unless (it be) by mistake. He who hath killed a believer by mistake must set free a believing slave, and pay the blood- money to the family of the slain, unless they remit it as a charity."



Almost like a Muslim protecting a fellow.. naaah couldn't be...

Bring the Gold's picture

So were Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush all secretly Muslim when we carried water for the house of Saud and Israel?

Could it be that contrary to the belief of many that presidents hold very little power, especially since the shadow government was enshrined 10/2001 by Bush II?

Naw, probably it's not geopolitics decades in the making and protecting the petro dollar by supporting the House of Saud and our good buddies in Israel. It's that Obama is a gay Muslim.

Look, even if Obama is gay AND Muslim he has no real power zip. Zero. He's a puppet. Fear not, it's all safely run by white guys and neo-cons in the background.

But if it makes you feel better to think Obama is the most powerful man on earth, gay and a Muslim Kenyan please just ignore decades of geopolitical machinations clearly evidenced in the public record and instead pin all your fears and hate on Obamas black Muslim gayness.

Good grief. Love yourself enough to get educated on how the world really works.

Calmyourself's picture

Wow you shoved quite a few words in my mouth fool...  Take a chill pill, I know exactly what is going on but making fun of the stupid posterboy is fun and I enjoy it.  Good grief let a guy have a little fun with the asshole in my house.. You flog yourself some more over us ignorant hoi polloi and then come on back to edumacate us... 

Bring the Gold's picture

Maybe you know better many on here don't. They think there is a gay Muslim black agenda causing world events instead of a Real Politik geo-political framework. Your comment feeds into the R vs D false dichotomy that helps keep America hamstrung and unable to identify the real source(s) of our problems. Obama is one of the worst presidents of all time. All the black secretly gay and Muslim shit is about as fresh as Clinton blue dress jokes. Overplayed, unfunny and dangerous to feeble minds (yours clearly excluded).