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Is ISIS Giving Up On Oil?

Is ISIS Giving Up On Oil? thumbnail

Since the Iraqi army drove out Islamic State forces from the oil-rich towns of Shargat and Qayyarah last month, ISIS has lost its ability to produce oil and profit from crude oil sales on the black market—but ISIS is proving to be highly adaptable, and able to find new markets quickly; this time in agriculture.

A quick read of American intelligence on ISIS oil revenues shows this outcome had been anticipated.

The Department of Defense confirmed that oil revenues were no longer the Islamic State’s main source of funding back in February 2015.

“The main source of revenue for them used to be oil,” Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters at the time. “Now we assess that it’s no longer the main source of revenue.”

Kirby could not disclose how far the terrorist group’s revenues had fallen since 2014, when ISIS’ oil and gas revenues and cash reserves totaled over $1 billion, according to Daniel Glaser, the Department of Treasury’s assistant secretary for terrorist financing.

As the United States and allied forces ramp up the war against ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul over the next few weeks, how has the terrorist organization managed to fund its military and pseudo-government?

After the Islamic State’s control over several Iraqi oilfields peaked last spring, an Al-Jazeera investigation found the list of the terrorist organization’s customers to be “murky.”

The Qatari channel’s documentary in November said ISIS mainly sold its oil to independent traders within Syria and Iraq. Other rebel groups in northern Syria – who themselves fought against ISIS – bought the terrorists’ fuel due to the lack of other options.

But, once ISIS lost control of the Alas and Hamrin oilfields near Tikrit in April, the group’s income declined by an additional $1 million per day. Militants’ salaries were halved, and then halved again, to make up for the lost revenues, along with other austerity measures.

But their newest source of income is agriculture. Specifically, wheat.

A new report by Syria Deeply suggests the terrorist leaders have taken to the wheat trade because the biggest portion of the Fertile Crescent outside of the Syrian government’s control now belongs to ISIS.

24 Comments on "Is ISIS Giving Up On Oil?"

  1. rockman on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 12:20 pm 

    Still not satisfied with any of the pseudo-answers as to how ISIS was selling oil. We’re not talking a suitcase filled with coke but hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of oil that was initially transported by trucks across open desert along a very limited number of roads. And then sell to who…Turks? Or moved out of Turkey on TANKERS to foreign buyers.

    And between the US military and intelligence organizations they couldn’t track the moverment of every bbl of oil? And we have cruise missiles that can fly 1,000 miles and take out a moving armored vehicle. But can’t hit a stationary well head or oil tank we can tag with lat/longs accurate to a yard and we ALLOWED them to produce and sell millions of bbls of oil?

    And apparently questions nether the MSM or R congressional opposition were ever interested in pushing? And this is the military capability that has cost us $TRILLIONS that was designed to protect us from Russia?

    I don’t buy any of it.

  2. penury on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 12:25 pm 

    Rockman you must be one of those deploreables that the “Ds” are complaining about.

  3. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 12:59 pm 

    The US I ntelligece apparat was well aware of the ISIS oil trade. Only Russia wished to do anything about it though.

  4. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 1:13 pm 

    To paraphrase RM:

    the Isis oil trade did not exist because if it did it would have been detected by US intelligence and then be destroyed.

    In reality ISIS activities in Syria suit US objectives. US intelligence was well aware of ISIS oil trade and they CHOSE not to interdict.

    Russia was also aware of ISIS oil trade and they CHOSE to interdict.

    On a lighter note- Al Qaeda in Syria (Alt Qaeda) takes out Syrian armoured personnel carriers with TOW missles. Made in USA. Where and how do you suppose Alt Qaeda gets TOW missles from? The answer is surprisingly simple. From USA via Jordan. Section 1038 of the National Defense Act punishes Andricans who support Al Qaeda. It was a defence bill not supported by the Pentagon. The Al Qaeda in Syria changed their name to Al-Nusra front. I think Rock might have drunk the ‘trust Uncle Sam he’s a good guy’ Kool aid.

  5. Apneaman on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 2:16 pm 

    ISIS oil Inc will be fine once the IPO starts. Plenty of western investor scum lined up.

  6. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 2:34 pm 

    The existence of isis oil trade and transport is well documented. As is it’s destruction by Russian war planes. It was the destruction of isis oil convoys that caused turkey to brace up and shoot a Russian frog foot down.

    Once Russia exposed the existence of isis oil networks to the world by destroying it in ho def tv the us then brought up the rest and bombed some isis oil too.

    Now I wonder why USA didn’t think of bombing that 12,000 truck convoy until Russia did? Maybe they just didn’t see it lol

  7. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 2:41 pm 

    Correction- section 1021 of the NDAA

    This is one of the reasons Alt Qaeda has to rebrand.

    FYI- the group that took down the twin towers is your ally in Syria.

  8. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 2:43 pm

  9. rockman on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 3:38 pm 

    Truth – I don’t have nearly as many tin foil hats in my closet as you (just teasing) but there’s just no credibility to any explanation as to why the US didn’t shut the ISIS oil trade down. Other then for whatever reason we chose not to.

  10. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 4:09 pm 

    It’s simple

    Isis activities in Syria are in us interests.

    To wit- they fight the Syrian gov.

    No tin foil hats

    Just logical analysis.

    What’s your view?

    Isis oil is bad
    Us didn’t bomb isis oil
    Therefore isis oil didn’t exist.

    Not very intelligent analysis

  11. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 4:54 pm

    America siding with ‘terrorists’ like al-Nusra? It’s not a conspiracy theory

  12. shortonoil on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 7:25 pm 

    “Truth – I don’t have nearly as many tin foil hats in my closet as you (just teasing)”

    No.. he’s not!

  13. shortonoil on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 7:32 pm 

    ISIS from ruthless killers to dirt farmers! The Russians won.

    And, the State Department wants to make enemies out of them, when in 5 years the US will desperately need their oil. What a bunch of geniuses?

  14. rockman on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 8:13 pm 

    “…US will desperately need their oil…”. Curious: who is they?

  15. makati1 on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 8:24 pm 

    I would guess that short means Russians. The ME will not have any oil for sale soon. The Russians will.

  16. DMyers on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 8:25 pm 

    Oil, wheat, “whatever it takes,” as they say in the halls of big bank financing. Very resourceful fellows, these ISIS terrorists. Maybe smarter than we thought.

    Short, we might desperately need their wheat as well.

  17. Anonymous on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 8:44 pm 

    I dont know what oilprice is so worried about. The USlamic state wont have much trouble making up any cash shortfalls. The uS air farce can just air-drop a few pallets of freshly-minted uS federal reserve toilet paper, along with the regular consignments of TOW missiles, small arms, ammo and other sundries the uS regularly air-drops it its USlamic state forces.

    No time for farming! So drop them hoes, grab them stinger missiles, and hop to it. The Assad ‘regime’ wont change itself. Exxon, Shell, Riyadh, everyone at PNAC and in Tel Aviv spent billions on you guys to ‘get the job done’. Cant do that if you’re all pulling weeds and chew’n straw in the middle of the desert…

  18. joe on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 10:07 pm 

    Obviously a Qatari tv station will say Syrians bought the oil, but any fool knows the oil road network cheapest market access was into Turkey. The Muslim Brotherhood (murky as ever) helped isis as much as it could in its Erdogan AK party guise, but isis was created to terrorise Assad and make al qeada look like the good moderate alternative, once isis left the reservation they signed their own death warrant.
    The Friends of Hillary Association (Qatar and Saudi) should have told Baghdadi if he wanted to be Caliph that it was supposed follow muslim mythological stories into Turkey, not Iraq instead Turkey has a reborn Islamo-Nationalism that will focus power once more outside Arabs.

  19. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 11:53 pm 

    US backed moderates behead a 12 year old boy
    Good job amerka

    Amerika truely is the land of the easily dupped

    Better get out and vote.
    As if it’ll make a difference.

  20. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Wed, 26th Oct 2016 11:57 pm 

    The White Helmets scam was dreamed up
    by a PR company called Purpose

  21. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Thu, 27th Oct 2016 12:15 am 

    A great interview with
    Max Blumenthal.

    I bet most folks didn’t know that
    Israel proceeds ISIS with artillery support
    when they attack Syrian Army.

    Israel has been calling everyone they
    don’t like either a terrorist or a supporter
    of terrorism for a long time; yet on the
    topic of ISIS they are strangely silent.

  22. makati1 on Thu, 27th Oct 2016 5:40 am 

    “Russia Destroys Most ISIS-Daesh Heavy Weaponry, U.S. Promptly Airdrops 50-Tons Of Weapons Into Syria for the Terrorists”

    Your tax dollars at work…

  23. green_achers on Thu, 27th Oct 2016 9:00 pm 

    “Well documented” = “I saw a youtube video.”

  24. Apneaman on Fri, 28th Oct 2016 9:50 pm 

    Iraq’s skies darken as Isis torches oil

    “LONDON, 28 October, 2016 – Even at the height of the day, the skies in many parts of northern Iraq are dark as Isis torches oil wells and oil-filled defensive trenches in its retreat.

    Artillery fire and bombing raids by US aircraft and others battling Isis are also causing conflagrations at oil installations. ”

    “A recent report by Pax, a Netherlands-based church grouping, says that more than 5,700 makeshift oil refineries are operating in the ISIS-controlled Deir ez-Zor area of Syria.

    Thousands of civilians, many of them children, are forced to work at these crude, basically-run facilities.

    “From exploding fuel barrels to exposure to carcinogenic chemicals and inhalational toxins, these makeshift oil refineries will have a long-lasting health impact on communities and their environment”, says the report.”

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