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US airstrike destroys second site of ISIS cash reserves

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US warplanes have reportedly destroyed a large Islamic State bank in Iraq’s Mosul city housing an estimated USD 45 million, the second time in over a week that such a facility of the terror group has been bombed.

American warplanes destroyed the Islamic State bank in Mosul late last night, a senior US defence official told Fox News.

This was the second such instance in over a week that US military has targeted an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) finance centre holding significant cash reserves.

The US dropped two 2,000-pound (900-kilogramme) bombs on January 10 in central Mosul destroying the building containing huge amounts of cash. The airstrike had destroyed the ISIS building reportedly housing an estimated USD 90 million.

The building targeted in yesterday’s strike housed an estimated USD 45 million in dollars and Iraqi dinars, according to officials.

Reports indicated the collective strikes on the two sites are “crushing” ISIS, another senior defence official was quoted as saying.

It has been reported that ISIS salaries to its fighters and civil servants have been significantly reduced as a result of the strikes.

The group’s Bayt al-Mal, the Treasury Ministry, has decided to cut the salaries of its fighters in half due to the “exceptional circumstances” ISIS has been witnessing, The Jerusalem Post said, citing new documents released last month.

The terror group reportedly did not explain exactly what those “exceptional circumstances” were.

Around 2,000 ISIS fighters occupy the 1.5-million Sunni-majority city of Mosul, according to estimates from the Iraqi military. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said recently he wants Mosul retaken by the end of 2016 and ISIS destroyed.

In the past weeks, the US-led air campaign has increased its airstrikes in and around Mosul, the largest ISIS stronghold in Iraq.

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