Strikes Wiped Out Up to $800M in ISIS Cash: US

Islamic State members are also presenting doctors' notes to get out of fighting
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2016 8:08 AM CDT
Strikes Wiped Out Up to $800M in ISIS Cash: US
In this Nov. 17, 2014, file photo, smoke rises from the Syrian city of Kobani, following an airstrike by the US-led coalition, seen from a hilltop outside Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border.   (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)

The US-led coalition against the Islamic State is apparently hitting 'em where it hurts, destroying between $500 million and $800 million in cash via airstrikes overseas, a US military official tells the BBC. In a press briefing, Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten said that recently acquired internal ISIS documents indicate the attacks against the group have led to a 90% increase in defections, as well as fewer recruits: Per CNN, Gersten noted that only 200 foreigners now join ISIS per month (as opposed to up to 2,000 a month a year ago) and that some members are even coming up with doctors' notes to get out of fighting duty.

Although he didn't spell out how the US calculated those estimates, Gersten said fewer than 20 airstrikes specifically targeting the cash stashes—including money used to pay for sex slaves—were carried out. "We're seeing a fracture in their morale, we're seeing their inability to pay … we're watching them try to leave," Gersten said. He noted that the documents suggest ISIS has had to sell vehicles, slash fighter salaries in half, and implore members to cut down on electricity use, among other cost-cutting measures. (The Pentagon has also been "dropping cyberbombs" on ISIS.)

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