New U.S. ISIL strategy: bomb the ‘Daesh cash’

Special to WorldTribune.com

The United States has unleashed a new strategy against Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL): bomb the “Daesh cash.”

According to Col. Steve Warren, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, nine air strikes in Iraq and Syria in the past few months have destroyed “tens of millions” of dollars of “Daesh cash.”

Screen grab of U.S. air strike on ISIL cash facility in Mosul. /U.S. Department of Defense
Screen grab of U.S. air strike on ISIL cash facility in Mosul. /U.S. Department of Defense

Daesh is a widely used Arabic abbreviation for ISIL, which has hoarded millions of dollars in cash, most it from black market oil sales.

“Striking these cash collection points hurts this enemy,” Warren said on Jan. 20. “They operate on cash; there is no credit in ISIL.”

Warren said the U.S. has twice struck ISIL cash-collection facilities in Mosul, Iraq, the most recent on Jan. 18. Video of one air strike shows what the U.S. military believes to be plumes of money fluttering into the air following a huge blast.

“A combination of taking away their ability to earn money by striking oil and taking away the money they have on hand by striking the Daesh cash really puts the squeeze on them,” Warren said.

Warren said the number of civilian casualties in strikes on the cash facilities was less than 10.

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