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ISIS's Economic Sources

Published on 01 September 2014, by M. Tomazy.
by Mohammad Tomazy  |  
The Western governments are carrying out military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), mainly by drones, intelligence and assisting Iraqi and semi-autonomous Kurdish government northern Iraq.
ISIS controlled area in Syria and Iraq, The Economist
Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, Western governments have applied economic and military sanctions against Syrian regime, including banning of oil export which mainly located in the northeastern Syrian territories (Deir Ez-Zor and Raqqa districts). So far, these oil-rich territories are controlled by ISIS.
Moreover, ISIS and other al-Qaeda affiliated groups (such as Jabhat al-Nusra) raised their budget by trafficking the Syrian oil through Turkey. According to al-Monitor:
Since then, the National Coalition did not sell a single barrel and the Ministry of Energy, affiliated with the coalition and located in Gaziantep, Turkey, was not able to fill any tank of Syrian oil found at the gates of the close-by Syrian city of Tal Abyad. This is where the oil is transported and refined to the account of Syrian, Arab and foreign emirs of the war and jihad. Then, it is sold to Turkish companies.
 According to oil experts, compared with Iraqi oil reserves, the production of 380,000 barrels per day of Syrian oil is not a tempting offer, nor enough of an excuse to wage a war. However, Syrian oil has been and is still playing a role behind the scenes, especially in eastern Syria where it is mainly produced.
The West does not need the Syrian oil. But the domestic war machine needs it. Meanwhile, the Islamic caliphate is expanding and seeking to reunite the jihad, banners, wells and tribes, after they were scattered. This reunification is one of the main elements of the jihadist fight between brothers on both sides of the Euphrates, and of the attack of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s “Kharijites” against the “apostates” of Jabhat al-Nusra leader Abu Muhammad al-Golani, in their bastion Shuhail. The former had chased off the latter from the eastern and western countryside of Deir ez-Zor. The Kharijites of Baghdadi entered Abu Kamal, besieged the opposition’s neighborhood in the heart of Deir ez-Zor, while they were at crossfire with the Syrian army on the other side of the besieged area.
The Western axis closed eyes on oil trafficking and piracy as long as these al-Qaeda affiliated groups carry out unmerciful fight against the Syrian regime. However, ISIS has eventually extended  their controlled zones in Iraq. They controlled Sunni-inhabited regions at the beginning, and wove an alliance with pro-Saddam Baathist fighters led by Ezzat Eddouri. Afterwards, they controlled Mosul in the north and attacked Yazidis's stronghold in Sinjar.

ISIS has stolen $425 million when they raided Mosul to become the world's richest terrorist group.

Current military campaign against ISIS is, in fact, dealing with 'the symptoms' and neglects the underlying causes which will revive such fundamental organizations. The pro-Western middle eastern governments not only facilitated the migration of al-Qaeda affiliated groups into Syria, but they also offered intelligence and financial support to overthrow the Syrian regime and to decelerate the Iranian influence in the region as a net result.
Serious actions must be taken (rather than seasonal military interventions) to dry ISIS's economic 'arteries' and to fight their Saudi-based fascistic ideology and to stop their international migration, especially via Turkey.