Questions have been raised recently regarding the funding of ISIS’ military operations. Nearly everyone is aware of the fact that ISIS trades oil in order to keep their mission moving. But the question that requires an answer is: who are the actual purchasers of said oil? There have been wild accusations, supported mostly by Russia’s insistence, that Turkish and Syrian officials have been acquiring and transporting oil from the extremist group and are therefore supporting the jihadist cause. Recent occurrences such as the downing of a Russian plane by Turkish forces only serve to worsen the situation. Putin has taken this incident as a seemingly personal slight, calling it a “stab in the back.” In light of this event, Putin has accused unnamed states of supporting the jihadist regime by financially assisting them.
Russia has taken a very proactive approach in the fight against ISIS by attempting to destroy truck caravans of ISIS believed to be carrying oil. This is a key part of the game plan needed to take down ISIS. If you take away their oil, you take away their power to operate. Without a source of income they can produce nothing, pay their soldiers nothing, and purchase no weapons. Basically, all the factors required to keep ISIS running will eventually run out, and they will no longer be able to organize terrorist attacks and military operations.
Another issue is that it is very hard to trace, and therefore, hard to estimate the amount of money that is coming in and out of ISIS. There is not exactly a clear paper trail to follow. With the recent attacks in Paris and Beirut, international scrutiny is zooming in on ISIS and their interactions with countries and businesses. If nations can identify the routes and the accomplices that are helping ISIS sell oil, the hope is that it will be easier to crackdown and essentially dismantle the organization from the inside out. If these forces that are business partners with ISIS are allowed to continue their course of action, then ISIS will have an indefinite amount of attacking power.
America, as well as the international community, has begun to realize that ISIS could not extract, transport and sell oil on its own. The process necessitates interaction with commercial enterprises. It was only recent discovered that commercial truck drivers are being used to transport oil from ISIS into different nation-states, according to Sputnik News. These commercial enterprises are really no better than the jihadist organization they partner with. After all, how could ISIS function without their support? With this knowledge, it should become easier to intercept and disrupt all the trades that ISIS conducts, and that will hopefully put an end to this terror organization soon.
Article writtten by HEI contributor Timothy McNally.