November 16, 2015 / 2:06 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-US-led strikes hit Islamic State fuel trucks -statement

(Adds context on target in oil region, localities)

WASHINGTON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Air strikes by the United States and its allies against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria hit 116 fuel trucks on Sunday, according to the U.S.-led coalition, the latest step to damage oil facilities which the militant group uses to fund its operations.

The trucks were destroyed near the eastern Syrian city of Abu Kamal in one of the 23 allied strikes against IS, the Combined Joint Task Force said in the statement on Monday.

On Friday, the Pentagon said it was stepping up U.S.-led strikes in the area, concentrating on oil facilities as part of a recent effort to damage Islamic State’s ability to fund itself.

Abu Kamal is in Syria’s eastern Syrian Dayr Az Zawr region, which the Pentagon has said provides Islamic State with about two-thirds of its oil revenue, one of the largest sources of income for the militant group.

Representatives for the Pentagon could not be immediately reached for more details.

The strike was planned before the attacks in Paris on Friday, and was carried out by four A-10 attack planes and two AC-130 warships based in Turkey, according to the New York Times. It destroyed more than one-third of 295 trucks in the area, it added, citing U.S. officials.

Nine other strikes near six other Syrian cities hit numerous targets, including various fighting positions, buildings and tactical units, the U.S-led task force said in the statement.

In Iraq, 13 strikes hit five tactical units as well as two buildings used by the militant group, weapons caches and other targets, also near seven cities.

Reporting by Washington Newsroom; Editing by W Simon

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