[Ads-l] "Out of Schlitz"
martin.kaminer at GMAIL.COM
Sun Mar 1 13:34:16 UTC 2015
Pentagon: Islamic State Is Hurting, but ‘Nobody Is Saying They’re out of
BY KATE BRANNEN
FEBRUARY 27, 2015 - 6:00 PM
The Islamic State, which is considered to be the world’s richest terrorist
group, is starting to feel the squeeze on its two biggest sources of
revenue: black-market oil sales and stolen assets, according to the
Money from oil is down thanks to U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, which have
hit Islamic State-held oil refineries and fuel convoys. But the U.S.
military has not been able to wipe out the militant group’s oil revenues
completely, and the Pentagon acknowledged Friday that the group is still
making money in this area.
Before airstrikes began this summer, the Islamic State was believed to be
producing more than 80,000 barrels a day. Because it was selling the oil on
the black market, the group took a major discount compared to global market
prices, but experts still estimated it was collecting between an estimated
$1 million and $3 million a day. Now, thanks to airstrikes and falling oil
prices, those revenues have significantly diminished, according to a new
report from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force.
“By and large though, this is a group that gets the largest source of
revenue from stolen assets, particularly banks,” Pentagon Press Secretary
Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters.
The Islamic State needs to keep seizing new, populated territory if it’s
going replace its other declining revenue sources, he said. “That’s where
the money is.”
Starting about a year ago, the Islamic State steamrolled into Iraq,
violently taking towns and eventually seizing Mosul, Iraq’s second largest
city, in June. When it acquired the town, it also looted the city’s banks.
Lately though, the group’s movement is more restricted as big vehicle
convoys are sure to be targeted by airstrikes. This is starting to take a
hit on their finances.
“They aren’t able to grab new ground, so they aren’t able to rob more banks
and steal more cash,” Kirby said. Still, “nobody is saying they are out of
Schlitz right now. They still have resources at their disposal, but we know
they’re feeling the pinch.”
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