November 19, 2015

Leaflets prompt ISIL truckers to flee

By Nicholas Heras

Source: USA Today

Journalist(s) Tom Vanden Brook

WASHINGTON — Leaflets warning truck drivers in Syria to flee tankers used to transport oil stolen by the Islamic State appear to have persuaded them to abandon their rigs before they were destroyed, according to the Pentagon.

The leaflet drop is a rare example of U.S. propaganda efforts that produce immediate, measurable results and one of the few that the Pentagon acknowledges. The military has had a number of leaflet drops in Syria, several urging young men not to join the Islamic State, or ISIL. But officials refuse to say what, if any, positive effect those efforts have generated, contending that divulging such information could endanger intelligence sources.

The leaflets were dispersed 45 minutes before the U.S. attack, mounted by A-10 attack planes and AC-130 flying gunships. The warplanes destroyed 116 tankers near the eastern Syrian city of Al-Bukamal. The attack is part of an expanded effort by the U.S.-led coalition to block revenue ISIL generates from oil it steals from wells it seized when it swept through Iraq and Syria last year. In 2014, ISIL banked $100 million oil, according to the U.S. Treasury.

Read the full article at USA Today.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...