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French Jets Bomb Raqqa as US Blasts 283 Islamic State Oil Trucks

The US has stepped up its strikes on IS oil assets since the Paris attacks in an effort to cripple its finances, in a campaign known as "Tidal Wave II."

by VICE News
Nov 24 2015, 11:15am

Photo via ECPAD

France continued its bombing of Islamic State (IS) targets on Monday, while Britain offered the country the use of one of its air bases in Cyprus. Meanwhile, the United States released details of new strikes over the weekend that destroyed almost 300 oil trucks and a crude collection point, part of its ongoing strategy to target the militant group's oil production, a significant source of its financing.

France, which has intensified its bombing campaign since the attacks on Paris which killed 130 people, reported that jets from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier had destroyed targets in the Syrian IS stronghold of Raqqa on Monday, as well as in Ramadi and Mosul in Iraq.

During a visit to Paris on Monday UK Prime Minister David Cameron offered France the use of an air base in Cyprus to target the militant group, as well as air-to-air refueling services. 

Cameron told French President Francois Hollande he was convinced Britain should carry out airstrikes alongside France on the group in Syria — but first he will have to persuade the country's members of parliament.

The British leader is due to make a statement in parliament on Thursday laying out his case for the UK to join international military action in Syria.

On Monday Pentagon released details of fresh strikes in Iraq and Syria. The US carried out 19 bombings in Iraq over the weekend, targeting IS fighter positions and buildings, and in Syria, 14 strikes destroyed IS tactical units. 

More bombings in the northeast of the country hit an IS crude oil collection point and destroyed 283 tankers. Videos of the strikes were released on Tuesday.

The US has stepped up its strikes on IS oil assets since the Paris attacks in an effort to cripple its finances, in a campaign known as "Tidal Wave II". A US-led airstrike last destroyed 116 oil tankers.

"This was conducted in many ways identical to our last," Pentagon spokesman, Capt Jeff Davis, said on Monday. "It was proceeded with a leaflet drop to warn drivers out of their trucks as well as a show of force."

The United Nation Security Council called four days ago for Member States to take "all necessary measures" against IS in the wake of recent terrorist acts perpetrated by the group.

Related: Bombing the Islamic State's Oil Isn't the Slam Dunk You Might Expect It to Be