American-led airstrikes hit the Islamic State in the wallet overnight and early today, targeting Syrian oil installations held by the terror group and killing nearly 20 people as the militants released dozens of detainees in their de facto capital of Raqqa, fearing further raids, activists tell the AP. The latest strikes came on the third day of a US-led air campaign aimed at routing the group in Syria, and were aimed at one of the militants' main revenue streams. ISIS captured most of Syria's largest oil fields earlier this year and is believed to be partly funding its operations by smuggling oil out and selling it on the black market to the tune of up to $3 million a day. Other developments:
- At least four oil installations and three oil fields were hit near the town of Mayadeen, with at least 14 militants killed there, notes the AP. Other strikes hit checkpoints, compounds, training grounds, and vehicles of the Islamic State.
- Muhsin al-Fadhli, the alleged leader of terror group Khorasan, was reportedly killed yesterday in a series of strikes west of Aleppo, reports the Washington Post, though American intelligence hasn't confirmed his death.
- The overnight strikes were carried out by 18 aircraft from the US Air Force, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, reports CBS News. All aircraft returned safely to their bases.
- Across the pond, British officials arrested nine men between the ages of 22 and 51 on Saturday for belonging to or supporting "banned organization" Al Muhajiroun, reports the New York Times.
- British airstrikes could start within minutes of receiving Parliamentary approval tomorrow, Sky News reports. RAF Tornado jets, flying at speeds of 400mph, could reach Syrian targets in just a few hours.
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