Report: ISIS No Longer Controls Any Iraqi Oil

| by Ray Brown
ISIS soldiersISIS soldiers

ISIS no longer controls much Iraqi oil, according to a Kurdish intelligence report.

“Iraq is no more a home to oil for ISIS,” said Dr. Bewar Khinsi, an economic adviser to the Kurdistan Region’s intelligence agency, reported Rudaw. “Not only is the group unable to sell oil, but also they want to buy it in order to maintain its activities.”

Little oil in Iraq is now owned by ISIS “from its stores in its controlled areas, notably Hamam Alil, which they take advantage of for their refineries,” Khinsi said, referring to a town in northern Mosul.

Iraqi armed forces have pushed ISIS fighters out of the oil areas to regain control of the country's most valuable resource, which the militant Islamic group has benefited from for several years.

U.S. armed forces have also stepped up attacks on ISIS in oil-rich areas of Syria, reported The New York Times.

“We intend to shut it all down,” said Col. Steven H. Warren, a military spokesman in Baghdad.

Losing oil revenue would be a heavy blow to ISIS, which relies on the natural resource for a large chunk of its budget. The U.S. Treasury Department estimates ISIS collects $40 million per month from oil.

But in 2014, ISIS, also known as “Daesh,” made more than $800 million from oil alone, reported the Los Angeles Times.

And for those who buy ISIS oil, it can be a bargain, making the oil an easy sell.

"Daesh sells Iraqi and Syrian oil in the Turkish black market at prices [that are] 50 percent those of the global market," said Mowaffak Rubaie, a former Iraqi national security adviser. 

Sources: Rudaw, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times / Photo credit: Day Donaldson/Flickr

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