With ISIS having seized the largest concentration of oil in Syria, the US military has been ramping up its air strikes against the extremist group.
The coalition has been bombing ISIS targets at an unprecedented rate and targeting them at a much faster pace than before.
With the Islamic State now operating a number of oil refineries, pipelines and refineries across Syria, many of the areas they have seized have been under the control of ISIS for years.
US-led coalition forces are now carrying out operations in Syria that have a direct impact on ISIS operations and the ability of the extremist fighters to fund their operations.
This week, US-backed Syrian forces took control of the town of Rastan near the border with Iraq, making it one of the first major towns captured by the extremist movement.
The US has been carrying out air strikes in Syria for more than a year now, and it has carried out a number strikes on ISIS targets.
But this week the US air force began targeting ISIS-controlled oil facilities, oil-field infrastructure and infrastructure used to manufacture chemical weapons.
In the area where US troops are operating, US air power is causing significant damage to ISIS oil infrastructure.
US forces are also reportedly targeting the town’s oil refinery and the infrastructure used for producing chemical weapons by destroying pipelines, tankers and other infrastructure.
“The US-supported Syrian government has been taking control of major oil fields in Syria since the fall of 2015,” the Center for Strategic and International Studies said.
“For the first time, US forces have struck ISIS oil fields and infrastructure that have been used for decades.”
ISIS is able to maintain control of these oil facilities because they are strategically located close to major cities, including Aleppo and Raqqa.
According to the Center’s calculations, the oil facilities located in these areas would have a large impact on the region’s economy, with ISIS losing $1 billion annually due to the disruptions of infrastructure.
ISIS is also able to hold territory in areas under its control because it can purchase oil from local suppliers.
But these facilities are also used by the militant group to stockpile chemical weapons, according to a report by the New York Times.
This makes the oil refinery in the area in question a critical oil storage area for the Islamic States.
US officials have claimed that ISIS has been able to obtain chemical weapons from the region.
But a closer look at the area shows the refinery and other oil facilities are not entirely empty of fuel.
According the US Military Times, the facility has been refuelling and storing about 2,500 barrels of oil.
“If you look at this area, there is a lot of infrastructure,” said Colonel John Dorrian, commander of US Forces-Iraq in the countrys northern Anbar province.
“They’ve been working on it for a long time.”
The refinery has been the scene of several airstrikes in recent weeks, according the Center.
In one such strike on Sunday, US aircraft carried out an airstrike near the refinery, destroying several large storage tanks, an oil tank, a tank farm and a vehicle.
Another strike hit an oil facility in the vicinity of the refinery that had been refilling its tanks and equipment.
“I am aware of some of the airstrikes over the past few weeks,” Col Dorrian told The Daily Beast.
“We have been engaged in a number operations and they have hit the refinery.
We are engaged in more, but there are not as many as we had in the past.”
In the past, the coalition has carried a number airstrikes in areas near oil refuges.
But in 2017, the United States changed its policy to target oil facilities that are close to the Syrian border.
According a Pentagon statement, the Trump administration “took this action because of concerns that the Syrian regime could access the country’s oil fields by crossing the border and use them to fund terrorist groups, including the Islamic Front.”
The US military is not the only country in the region to have taken this action.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey have also taken similar actions against ISIS oil facilities.
In addition to the United Kingdom, France has also been working with the coalition to target ISIS oil operations.
“In the past we have struck oil facilities and refugia,” Col. Dorrian said.
But the coalition decided to do more than that, the commander said.
The air strike targeting the refinery is the latest in a string of operations by the coalition targeting ISIS oil equipment.
In April, coalition forces targeted an oil refinery at al-Wafa, near Raqqa.
This attack marked the first such strike by the US in Syria.
In October, coalition air strikes targeted oil facilities near the Syrian town of Dabiq, a few miles from the border.
In August, the air force struck a tank depot near Raqqa, killing one terrorist.
On August 6, coalition aircraft targeted a military facility in Raqqa, destroying two vehicles and destroying three oil tankers.
And in December, coalition airstrikes targeted a tank and a refinery near the town on the Iraqi-Syrian border, destroying four tanks and four oil trucks.