Cutting Off ISIS Oil Revenues Requires Attacking Its Operations at Their Source and Along Their Transport Routes
by Stephen Lendman
Russia degraded its Syrian oil smuggling. Its main source now comes from Iraq - with Libya to follow if it expands its Sirte stronghold to the nation’s oil operating areas.
On Christmas day, Russian General Staff Lt. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy said state intelligence aerial imagery spotted nearly 12,000 oil tanker transport trucks on both sides the Turkish/Iraqi border.
“(O)il from both Iraq and Syria comes through (the Zakho) checkpoint” in Iraqi Kurdistan, a few km from the Turkish border.
“According to satellite data the number of oil tankers moving through the ‘northern route’ (from Syria) towards the refinery in (Batman, Turkey) has considerably diminished,” Rudskoy explained.
So have tankers using the “western route” between Syria and Turkish border cities of Reyhanli and Iskenderun.
In recent days, Russian airstrikes destroyed 17 oil tanker convoys, about 2,000 tanker transport trucks and a number of facilities ISIS used to steal Syrian oil for smuggling into Turkey for refining and black market sales.
They’re seeking new transport routes, moving toward Iraqi border areas they control. “(D)espite a considerable diversion, the (destination) remains Turkey,” Rudskoy explained.
Cutting off their oil revenues requires attacking everywhere they operate, destroying their operations, preventing stolen oil from reaching Turkey or other destinations, working cooperatively with all affected countries, dependent on their requesting help, especially Iraq.
The question remains. What’s Baghdad waiting for, Libya prospectively in the wings as ISIS seeks to control its oil wealth?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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