Kirby told ABC News that 12 targets were hit in Wednesday’s strikes focusing on modular oil refineries. He said the targets were located in a remote areas of eastern Syria.
In a statement U.S. Central Command said the strikes were conducted by fighters from the U.S., Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. American drones also participated in the strikes.
ISIS is said to be one of the most well-funded terrorist groups ever because it is generating its own funds through the illicit sale of oil from seized oil fields inside Syria. Kirby said the the strikes were intended to hit ISIS financially.
“The destruction and degradation of these targets further limits ISIL's ability to lead, control, project power and conduct operations,” said the Centcom statement.
Centcom said the refineries produce an estimated 300 to 500 barrels of refined oil a day that generate as much as $2 million a day for ISIS.
The new wave of airstrikes launched Wednesday night reflect how the U.S. air campaign over Syria will be a mix of planned strikes and targets of opportunity.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters Wednesday “You’ll see a mix of what we’ve seen in Iraq the last several weeks, the result of active ISR that are armed.” ISR refers Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft – both manned and unmanned flying that are flying over Iraq and Syria.
“We’ll strike targets of opportunity when present,” said Warren. “ISR will allow us to develop more stationary targets we can strike when we choose.”
“I think you’re going to see a mix in coming days of both,” said Warren.
He characterized the airstrikes as effective and that as far as he knew there had been no civilian casualties in the strikes though they can’t be a hundred percent certain given that they don’t. “These strikes were very precise, we took all available mitigating actions to reduce civilian casualties and now we believe there were no civilian casualties,” Warren said.