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11-Apr-2015 15:56

They are believed to control hundreds of wells, an important source of income for ISIS and depriving Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government of a major source of income.So how can ISIS, cut off from the rest of the world by financial and trade sanctions, and under daily aerial and land bombardment by some of the richest countries in the world, afford to maintain a well-armed military and pay other bills?“ISIS is also supporting tens of thousands of militants who have been at war for months, with new recruits coming in every day.Yet it keeps all these people answerable to them, seems to have incredible cross-border mobility and shows no signs right now of running out of money or fuel.”On October 23, Washington’s point person in the fight against ISIS—the U. Department of the Treasury’s Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen—acknowledged in a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington that “[ISIS] has amassed wealth at an unprecedented pace and its revenue sources have a different composition from those of many other terrorist organizations.” ISIS doesn’t “depend principally on moving money across international borders,” he said, but “obtains the vast majority of its revenues from local criminal and terrorist activities.”This presents a formidable obstacle for the U. Treasury, which is accustomed to pursuing its enemies by pressuring established banks to expose their criminal clients.Interviews with Iraqi, Kurdish, European, Syrian and American government officials, analysts and intelligence agents sketch a portrait of ISIS’s robust, sprawling, and efficient financial operation.

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A micro-industry for fuel refinament has grown up around the desert town of Al Mansura east of Al Raqqah, the capital of ISIS.Small stills burn oil that is trucked in by the barrel load from the oil fields of Al Hasakah.Its currencies of choice—cash, crude oil and contraband—allow it to operate outside of legitimate banking channels.Turkey’s southern corridor, Iraq’s northwestern corridor and Syria’s northeastern corridor are key weak spots, well away from the prying eyes of outside investigators.

Each still can process about a thousand litres of crude a day intogas and diesel.

ISIS has taken oil fields from Syrian rebels and the government in recent months.