ISIS selling oil to Syria
ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) has begun selling Iraqi crude oil to Syria, against which the Islamic militant group has been fighting to take over the country.
In turn, Syria requires oil to fight against militant groups. According to media reports, ISIS is exporting crude oil to Turkey, Kurdistan Regional Government and even Israel.
Ruled by dictator Bashar al-Assad, Syrian government is fighting against the civil war. ISIS has taken over the control of majority of oil fields in Syria. Syria is forced to buy oil from ISIS. It's estimated that ISIS is making over $1 million a day by selling oil to countries like Syria, Kurd and even Israel.
According to news report by Business Insider, ISIS is also selling oil to black market traders in Syria. These black marketers in turn sell oil to rebel groups and in the regions controlled by ISIS.
Financial Times also reported, quoting US Treasury, that ISIS is earning over $1million through oil sale to even some of its biggest enemy nations. The middlemen from Turkey, Kurdish community from Iraq and militant groups from Syria are buying oil from ISIS.
However, Iraqi Kurdish officials have denied these reports that they're buying oil from ISIS. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials ruled out any possibility of buying oil from ISIS.
Eizzat Sabir, an MP in the KRG Parliament, told the Financial Times that there is no accusation yet the government is involved. "The KRG doesn't buy oil from anyone. We sell it. We produce about 150,000 barrels per day and even more than that's refined", he said.
According to Falastin News Palestine, ISIS has seized sizable stocks of crude oil extracted from oil fields during the past few months. ISIS has already commenced exporting Iraqi crude oil to Turkey refineries. These exports to Turkey are routed through Kurdish region.
Moreover, Iraqi oil is being supplied to even Israel via Turkey's mediterranean port of Ceyhan.
ISIS has recently shipped 100 tanks of Iraqi oil extracted from Ajeel oil field, which the group recently took over. ISIS is selling crude oil at a price of $12,000 to $14,000 per tank and using the revenues to finance its operations.
Israel and Turkish companies are transporting the oil to the borders using the routes controlled by ISIS.
Western intelligence officials consider ISIS as the most cash-rich terrorist organization. The ISISfunctioning of financial structure and revenue sourcing is quite different from other militant groups in the world.
The Islamic groups such as al-Qaeda and other militant groups in Syria usually depend upon donations to fund their activities.