US airstrikes continue in Syria and Iraq
U.S. and coalition missiles continued to rain down on Islamist targets across the Middle East on Wednesday, the third day of an expanded American military campaign against ISIS militants that now encompasses Syria as well as Iraq.
Those strikes included multiple U.S.-led attacks on ISIS vehicles, weapons caches and troop positions in both countries, as well as additional airstrikes later in the day that targeted a dozen ISIS-controlled oil refineries within Syria. ISIS makes an estimated $2 million a day selling oil on the black market, according to U.S. officials.
As many as 150,000 Syrians have crossed into southern Turkey since Friday, according to the Associated Press, as the refugees – mainly Kurds – flee the violence that has engulfed the region. The situation could get worse still: The United Nations warns that ISIS attacks on dozens of Kurdish villages in northern Syria risk creating a mass exodus of up to 400,000 people seeking refuge in neighboring Turkey. Officials with the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday that they are making contingency plans in case the entire population of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani is forced across the border by advancing ISIS militants.