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Will Airstrikes On ISIS Oil Refineries Prove Effective?

The latest round of U.S. airstrikes prominently targeted ISIS-held oil refineries to cut off the group's cash flow, but how effective will they be?

Will Airstrikes On ISIS Oil Refineries Prove Effective?
U.S. Central Command

The latest round of airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria focused on the group's oil refineries.

It's part of an effort to directly cut off a large portion of the group's funding, as U.S. Central Command says the refineries produce as much as $2 million worth of refined petroleum daily. (Video via KTTV)

RDML JOHN KIRBY, VIA BBC: "I don't know if I'd characterize them as the twelve most significant but they are significant to helping ISIL fund itself through these black market oil revenues."

As for where that black market oil ends up:

ALISTAIR BUNKALL, SKY NEWS: "A lot of it is smuggled over the border particularly into Turkey. It's refined in a very crude manner into diesel and basically, put it simply, it's sold very cheaply on the black market in Turkey."

In a statement, U.S. Central Command said it struck small-scale modular refineries in eastern Syria. 

Makeshift oil refineries have popped up in a number of places in Syria, initially prompted by fighting cutting off supply lines, leaving people to make their own fuel. The process can be extremely dangerous given the toxic nature of the materials involved. (Video via The Guardian

Some analysts doubt the effectiveness of these strikes at significantly hurting ISIS funding. 

JOE JOHNS, CNN"A market analyst has told CNN the real money comes from taking crude oil directly out of the ground and smuggling it across the border into Turkey and Iraq."

Those strikes came on the same day President Obama led the United Nations Security Council to unanimously adopt resolution 2178 which looks to crack down on foreign fighters joining the conflict in the Middle East. (Video via The White House)  

PRESIDENT OBAMA, VIA THE WHITE HOUSE: "Specifically, nations are required to prevent and suppress the recruiting, organizing, transporting or equipping of foreign terrorist fighters as well as the financing of their travel or activities." 

A dissident observer group in Syria reported 14 militants and 5 civilians were killed during the strikes.

But Rear Admiral John Kirby said Thursday the U.S. didn't know if any militants had been killed and had no indications there had been civilian casualties. (Video via Euronews)

U.S. officials pledged to continue the strikes, and said there were indications a prominent leader of the Khorasan group was killed in a strike as well.