The exact message from the Pentagon to ISIS' tanker drivers just before U.S. warplanes decimated the terrorist army's oil convoys last November has been revealed.
Text of leaflets dropped before bombing began, warning truck drivers to run for their lives, was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the blog War is Boring.
“Warning. Airstrikes are coming, oil trucks will be destroyed,” read one leaflet. “Get away from your oil trucks immediately. Do not risk your life.”
“Oil trucks are being destroyed because buying this oil is the lifeblood of Da’ish. Leave the trucks and flee,” read another, using the Arabic term for the Islamic State.
U.S. Air Force A-10 ground attackers and AC-130 gunships took out hundreds of oil-hauling trucks in northern Iraq and eastern Syria that were a key part of a smuggling operation that brings the group an estimated $1.4 million a day.
“Oil trucks are being destroyed because buying this oil is the lifeblood of Da’ish. Leave the trucks and flee.”
- Pentagon leaflets dropped on ISIS oil convoys
One leaflet showed an image of a U.S. fighter jet flying low toward an oil tank, with the drivers running from the site. It was reportedly created before the attack from a drill. Another included a map of the region and prominently marked the oil fields in eastern Syria.
In addition to air dropping the leaflets, U.S.-led coalition planes conducted low-level "show of force" flights over certain ISIS-controlled oil regions.
The Pentagon said in November that more needed to be done to inhibit the terror group's generation of oil revenues in Syria and Iraq. The Treasury Department said in 2014 that the group earned nearly $1 million a day from illicit oil sales.