UAE says renewed air strikes hit IS oil refineries

AFP , Monday 16 Feb 2015

F16 fighter jets from the United Arab Emirates
File Photo: F16 fighter jets from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) arrive at an air base in Jordan February 8, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Renewed air strikes by the United Arab Emirates against the Islamic State group have hit oil refineries run by the jihadists, the state news agency reported on Monday.

F-16 fighter jets based in Jordan "targeted oil refineries controled by the Daesh (Islamic State) organisation, with the aim of drying up its sources of finance," the WAM agency said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

It said the strikes took place last Tuesday and Thursday but did not specify the location of the targets.

A US-led coalition of Western and Arab nations launched air strikes against IS last year after the jihadist group seized control of large parts of Iraq and Syria.

The UAE had suspended its strikes after the jihadists captured a Jordanian pilot whose plane went down in December. He was later brutally murdered by IS in a video posted online.

But the UAE said last Tuesday it had resumed the strikes, after deploying a squadron of F-16s to Jordan on February 8.

Abu Dhabi had reportedly sought and obtained guarantees from Washington on boosting its ability to rescue downed coalition pilots.

Coalition strikes have frequently targeted oil facilities seized by the jihadists, who according to some estimates earn more than $1 million per day from oil sales.

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