“If you look at a general level, we believe that ISIL is now — a well-funded organization with good resources,” Rasmussen said. “We had hoped that over time ISIL’s opportunities to attract financial resources would decrease faster than it did in reality. These militants have shown the ability to find means to use the mineral resources in the controlled territories, mainly oil,” he added.
The US-led coalition of some 60 nations has conducted over 6,500 airstrikes in Iraq since August 2014 and in Syria since September 2014, albeit without the approval of the UN Security Council or the Syrian government.
On September 30, Russia started precision airstrikes on ISIL targets in Syria, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, 112 airstrikes were performed in total through October 7th.
Russian warships also successfully launched 26 cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea on Wednesday, taking out additional ISIL targets.