ISIS’s control of oil fields in Iraq and Syria is making it difficult for those countries to work with the United States to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS. Not only does their grip on oil production affect U.S. strategy, the brutal terrorist organization uses that oil wealth to help finance its terror operations.
And the profit margin isn’t small. The Daily Signal’s Kelsey Harkness writes:
According to the Iraq Energy Institute, an independent, nonprofit policy organization focused on Iraq’s energy sector, the army of radical Islamists controls production of 30,000 barrels of oil a day in Iraq and 50,000 barrels in Syria.
By selling the oil on the black market at a discounted price of $40 per barrel (compared to about $93 per barrel in the free market), ISIS takes in $3.2 million a day.
This amounts to nearly $100 million each month allowing ISIS to, as Heritage expert James Phillips explains, have a “solid economic base that sustains its continued expansion.” In order to succeed in destroying ISIS, the U.S. and its allies need to work “intently on cutting the oil revenues that make up a large portion of that funding,” Phillips concludes.
Do you think the President Obama’s top priority in stopping ISIS should be to cut its cash flow from the oil production?