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Islamic State crisis: US hits IS oil targets in Syria

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The US said the The US said the "small-scale refineries" were producing 300-500 barrels of refined petroleum per day.The US-led coalition against Islamic States (IS) has targeted oil refineries in Syria during a third night of air strikes against the militants.

The raids - carried out by US, Saudi and UAE aircraft - killed 14 IS fighters and five civilians in eastern Syria, activists said.

The US military said the refineries generated as much as $2 million (£1.2m) per day in revenue for IS.

IS has seized large areas of Syria and Iraq in recent months and controls several oilfields. Sales of smuggled crude oil have helped finance its offensive in both countries.

The US has launched nearly 200 air strikes against the militants in Iraq since August and expanded the operation against IS to Syria on Monday.

'Successful strikes'

The US military said the latest strikes, using fighter jets and drones, hit "small-scale" refineries that were producing "between 300-500 barrels of refined petroleum per day".

IS had besieged the town for several days, taking control of the surrounding villages and forcing more than 140,000 Syrian Kurds to flee into Turkey.

Turkey has been overwhelmed by an estimated 1.5 million Syrian and Iraqi refugees since the conflict in Syria between opposition forces and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began three years ago.

Rebel forces have faced several setbacks in recent months amid offensives against them by both IS fighters and Syrian government forces.

On Thursday, Syria's army said it had retaken the key strategic town of Adra, northeast of Damascus, which had been held by rebels.

President Obama chaired the session and said nations must prevent the recruitment and financing of foreign fighters.

The US says more than 40 countries have offered to join the anti-IS coalition.

France said its fighter jets had carried out fresh air strikes in Iraq on Thursday, a day after the beheading of a French hostage in Algeria by an IS-linked group.

The French military has been striking targets in Iraq since last week but has not taken part in anti-IS operations in Syria.

Meanwhile, the UN said on Thursday that IS had publicly killed a rights lawyer in the IS-held Iraqi city of Mosul, after finding her guilty of apostasy in a self-styled Islamic court.

Samira Salih al-Nuaimi was seized from her home last week after allegedly posting critical messages on Facebook on the destruction of places of worship by IS, the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq said.

Coalition growing

On Wednesday, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the British military was also ready to "play its part" in the fight against IS.

The UK Parliament has been recalled to discuss plans for air strikes against IS on Friday.

The Dutch government has also said it is deploying six F-16 fighter to join the US-led air campaign.

September 25 2014, 16:48

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