Only a day after the United States launched airstrikes against alleged
ISIS targets in Syria, the real reasons behind these specific targets
are gradually becoming clearer. Yet, for anyone who actually thought
that the U.S. airstrikes were something other than an attack on Bashar
al-Assad’s government forces, the location and targets of the strikes
may tell a different story if looked at closely.
airstrikes targeted Syrian oil installations held by the extremist
Islamic State group overnight and early Thursday, killing at least 19
people as more families of militants left their key stronghold, fearing
further raids, activists said.
The Islamic State group is believed to control 11 oil fields in Iraq and
Syria. The new strikes involved six U.S. warplanes and 10 more from the
United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, mainly hitting small-scale
refineries used by the militants in eastern Syria, Pentagon spokesman
Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
According to Agency France-Presse, strikes involved targeting an oil
field in Syria administered by the Islamic State, reportedly close to
positions held by the group near the towns of Al-Omar and Deir ez-Zor,
journalist Zaid Benjamin reported.
The US and its partners used “a mix of fighter and remotely piloted
aircraft to conduct 13 of airstrikes against 12 ISIL-controlled modular
oil refineries located in remote areas of eastern Syria in the vicinity
of Al Mayadin, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal and one ISIL vehicle near Dayr
az Zawr, also in eastern Syria,” read a statement by CENTCOM.
“These small-scale refineries provided fuel to run ISIL operations,
money to finance their continued attacks throughout Iraq and Syria, and
an economic asset to support their future operations,” the statement
continued. “Producing between 300-500 barrels of refined petroleum per
day, ISIL is estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day from
these refineries. The destruction and degradation of these targets
further limits ISIL’s ability to lead, control, project power and
Yet while the mainstream media and the U.S. government are attempting to
portray the strikes against the Syrian oil refineries as a strike
against ISIS, the fact of the matter is that they are a strike against
the secular government of Bashar al-Assad.
Strikes Against Refineries Hurt Syria More Than ISIS
Although it is true that ISIS/ “moderate death squads” had seized
control over the oil refineries in Eastern Syria and were using them for
their own strategic purposes (with the help of NATO command), it is also true that, in a large portion of these areas, the SAA (Syrian Arab Army) was poised to retake control.
This is particularly the case in Dayr el Zor, where the SAA had recently launched a major offensive against the death squads causing ISIS fighters trapped by arial bombardment and escape routes cut off by the SAA.
In other words, the death squads were trapped in Dayr el Zor, the city
was weeks away from being liberated, and the surrounding areas were set
to be reconquered by the SAA. This, of course, would have led directly
to the retaking of the oil refineries by the Syrian government.
Unfortunately, that opportunity has now been lost as a result of the
U.S. airstrikes which destroyed the refinery infrastructure.
It should also be remembered that most of the death squads fled these
areas after being given forewarning of a series of imminent American
airstrikes, thus causing the civilian casualties to be higher in number
than those of the ISIS fighters the strikes were allegedly targeting.
Indeed, many of these fighters have appeared in Northern Syria on the Syria/Turkey border reinforcing other death squad battalions in efforts to reopen supply lines from Turkey.
Similar situations are found in the other locations mentioned as targets of U.S. airstrikes such as al-Hasakah where the SAA had made significant gains alongside Kurdish forces.
Thus, as SAA forces moved in to retake control of the oil refineries
managed by terrorists funded by Western powers, the United States
initiated airstrikes just in the nick of time to deprive SAA forces of
the opportunity to seize some of the oil refinery infrastructure it
is also important to note that virtually none of the infrastructure
being destroyed by the United States airstrikes was built by ISIS. It
was built by the Syrian government. The reality of the bombing campaign
is that the United States and its allies are destroying important
regions of Syria and leaving nothing of real value for the Syrian
military to retake after its long-fought battles against ISIS.
Thus, headlines across the world should more accurately read “US Bombs
Syrian Oil Refineries To Prevent Assad From Retaking Them.”
The excuse peddled by Western governments and their lapdog media outlets
to justify the bombing of Syrian oil refineries is that the goal is to
disrupt ISIS oil revenue and thus break its funding. The narrative
provided to the general public is that ISIS is funding itself by oil
sales on the black market to the tune of millions of dollars per day. Of
course, while it is most likely true that ISIS is using their
commandeered oil sites to support themselves on a number of fronts, and
even attempting (with some success) to sell that oil, the idea that ISIS
is somehow able to evade the most sophisticated monitoring network in
the entire world during the process of obtaining, refining, selling, and
delivering oil across the region is entirely unbelievable.
Regardless, it must be pointed out that, among the countries listed as hosting ISIS customers by mainstream outlets like CNN, Turkey and Jordan are at the top of the list,
both close American allies and one a member of NATO. Even more
interesting is the fact that ISIS has also allegedly sold “black market”
oil to buyers in a number of EU member states.
Yet the idea itself seems like more of a cover to mask the true nature
of the funding of ISIS and other takfiri militants operating in Iraq and
Syria, namely that the funding is coming from the United States, NATO,
and the GCC. Like the ridiculous claims that ISIS was funding itself
entirely through secretive private Twitter donations, the “oil sales”
argument is one that should be taken with a healthy dose of salt. After
all, mainstream outlets are also asserting that ISIS is selling some of
this oil to the Syrian government, a lose-win-lose situation for both
sides and a rather poor attempt to portray Assad as an ally of ISIS.
In reality, it should always be remembered that ISIS is entirely a
creation of the West and that it remains fundamentally under the control
of NATO and the GCC.
In the meantime, all this talk about oil refineries no doubt has Western oil companies licking their lips.