On Jan. 11, the U.S. bombed a central Mosul, Iraq, building that was a cash storage facility for the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) (video below).
The Department of Defense released the declassified video of the bombing to CNN.
The money contained in the building was reportedly being used to pay ISIS troops and support ongoing operations, two U.S. defense officials said.
The video shows a pair of 2,000-pound bomb strikes hit the building. Debris may be seen flying in the air after the explosion, before landing on the tops of nearby buildings. Officials said the debris includes cash.
Popular VideoThis judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:
The building contained millions of dollars belonging to the terrorist group, although an exact figure could not be given.
"It was a good strike. And we estimate that it served to deprive ISIL of millions of dollars," Gen. Lloyd Austin, head of the U.S. Central Command, said. "And combined with all of the other strikes that we've done on ISIL's gas and oil production and distribution capabilities and strikes against his economic infrastructure and the various sources of revenue, you can bet that (it) is feeling the strain on his checkbook."
The officials said this is the first of many planned attacks against the terrorist group’s financial holdings in order to remove their ability to function as a state-like entity.
"ISIL needs those funds to pay their fighters, to recruit new fighters and to conduct their various maligned activities," Austin said. "...we said from the outset of this campaign that to defeat ISIL, we're going to have to take away its ability to resource itself."
The Mosul strike took place in an area with significant risk of civilian casualties. Intelligence led U.S. officials to the “cash collection and distribution point,” and days were spent monitoring it with aircraft and drones to determine when the fewest civilians would be in the area.
The attack was performed at dawn, and it was agreed upon by U.S. commanders that up to 50 civilian casualties could be warranted given the importance of the target.
It is estimated that five to seven people were killed.
In footage of the bombing allegedly released by an ISIS-supporting news group, a man’s bloodied body is shown being removed from the remains, Reuters reports.