The significant pressure on the finances of the ISIS terrorist group notwithstanding, the composition of its revenue streams has not changed substantially.
By Rakesh Raman
The financial condition of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group has deteriorated, forcing it to operate on a “crisis” budget. Also, the ability of ISIS to attract new recruits has diminished, and fighters are increasingly leaving the battlefield.
These are among the findings of a new UN report on the threat posed by ISIS (a.k.a. ISIL or Da’esh) to international peace and security.
According to the report, ISIS has continued to impose an array of fees and fines, while internal corruption and theft also continue to plague the group.
The significant pressure on the finances of the group notwithstanding, the composition of its revenue streams has not changed substantially.
“Although its income and the territory under its control are shrinking, ISIL (ISIS) still appears to have sufficient funds to continue fighting,” the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said Tuesday.
Feltman was briefing the Security Council on the UN Secretary-General’s fourth report on the threat posed by the terrorist group.
Meanwhile, the U.S. President Donald Trump has asked his Secretary of Defense to submit a preliminary draft of the plan within 30 days to defeat the terror outfit ISIS (or ISIL).
According to a White House communique, ISIS is not the only threat from radical Islamic terrorism that the U.S faces, but it is among the most vicious and aggressive.
“It is also attempting to create its own state, which ISIS claims as a ‘caliphate.’ But there can be no accommodation or negotiation with it. For those reasons, I am directing my Administration to develop a comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS,” Trump said.
The UN report further says that the group continues to rely mainly on income from hydrocarbon resources and extortion and “taxation”, which together account for as much as 70 to 80 per cent of the group’s income. However, its income from hydrocarbon resources decreased markedly in 2016.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) estimates that, in 2016, ISIS earned approximately $260 million from illicit oil sales, mainly from oil fields in Deir Ezzor province, Syrian Arab Republic, compared with as much as $500 million in 2015.
Oil prices are fluctuating considerably, and fuel is scarce. However, according to the report, ISIS has demonstrated its resourcefulness in fixing or adapting equipment and infrastructure damaged by international air strikes.
Furthermore, according to the report, the group appears to have sufficient funds to continue the fight, and many of its hardcore fighters appear prepared to remain and fight without a salary, given that it prioritizes its war machine over minimal services to the population.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Islamic State (IS) is a militant organization.
With a strong force of over 70,000 fighters under its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIL is attacking different nations with the aim to set up a large Islamic State called the Caliphate. It is believed that now ISIS has a presence in more than 30 countries of the world.