Amid efforts to liberate the Iraq region from ISIS, the local army has discovered new details about how the terrorists operated, including their logistical infrastructure in stolen oil (which as a reminder was sold to Turkey in general and Erdogan in particular). A recently emerged video shows secret underground repositories of black gold, which the terrorists were presumably forced to create to hide their stolen wealth from the anti-terrorist coalition.
The video reveals oil tanks with a capacity of several thousand metric tons dug several feet into the ground. In these makeshift underground shelters, the oil repositories would go unnoticed by the Iraqi military and reconnaissance aircraft.
At least, that was the case during the heyday of the Islamic State. Since 2015, ISIS' wealth in stolen natural resources in Syria and Iraq has been decimated, especially after a concentrated campaign launched by Russian air power to destroy smuggled oil heading for the Turkish border, as we first reported in 2015. In November 2015, the Russian Aerospace Forces launched a major concentrated attack targeting oil tankers, destroying an estimated 1,000 oil tankers, as well as oil refineries and oil storage facilities in a five day campaign in northern and eastern Syria. The US-led coalition reported destroying another 280+ tankers later that month, with both sides launching further strikes.
After a series of Syrian, Russian, and US-led attacks, terrorists from the Islamic State were forced to change their tactics, switching to the use of small, hidden, makeshift refineries and storage facilities, Sputnik reports. In 2016, US analysts estimated that the terrorists were making about $20 million a month from the stolen oil, down from as much as $3 million per day in 2014.
Of course, the Islamic State is now on the verge of defeat in both Syria and Iraq, its local influence virtually non-existent amid separate major Syrian and Iraqi offensives to free their countries from the terrorists. Last week, Syrian forces announced that a patch of territory along the west bank of the Euphrates River is now the only area in Syria where the terrorist group remains operational