In the aftermath of the shocking terrorist attacks in Paris there has been growing outrage internationally that ISIL still seems to be very well funded. The United States has responded to these concerns by stepping up efforts to cut off the sources of funds for ISIL reports Al Jazeera on Nov. 18, 2015. The U.S. military has been bombing oil tankers which have been serving as a source of revenue for ISIL while the Treasury Department has been investigating any bank reports of links with ISIL.
Washington has been increasing efforts to undermine oil revenue for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) estimated to be worth more than $1 million a day by hitting targets in the main oil-producing region of the group with air strikes. Over the past month 175 of these targets have been hit. In this past week 116 oil tanker trucks have been hit by coalition forces airstrikes. After last week’s coordinated assaults in Paris the United States targeted these vehicles for the first time. Oil rigs, pumps and storage tanks have been included in the intensified bombing raids.
A report in 2014 report by the Soufan Group, which is a global research group, stated that oil production and “extortion/taxation” of local interests in occupied regions have been ISIL’s two major sources of revenue. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, who is a Pentagon spokesman, has said it has been determined the coalition forces must do even more to undermine ISIL’s oil revenues in Syria and Iraq. The Treasury Department said that ISIL earned about $1 million a day from illicit oil sales last year. The Pentagon now thinks that sum has increased to about $1.4 million a day.
In Great Britain Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wants to see sanctions on banks and states which have been funding ISIL reports RT. In a speech to the House of Commons Corbyn encouraged Parliament to take more aggressive action to crack down on institutions which provide vital support to the terror group in Syria and Iraq.
Corbyn says a vital way to help win in the war against ISIL is to block its funding, its arms supplies, and its lucrative trade. British Prime Minister David Cameron has replied that the United Kingdom is already playing a major role in starving ISIL of funds. Cameron added that this however could not be the only British response to the terrorist group. He says continued action is also needed to beat the terrorists where they are.
Russia too has been bombing strategic ISIL sites. The Daily Beast reported Russia recently hit ISIL with the biggest bombing raid in history. Russia recently sent about 25 Backfire, Blackjackm, and Bear bombers on a well coordinated, long-range air raid against ISIL forces in Syria. General Valery Gerasimov, who is chief of Russia’s general staff, said during this massive airstrike 14 vital ISIL targets were completely destroyed by 34 air-launched cruise missiles. This is all part of Russia’s new plans for an intensified air campaign against ISIL.
The Independent reports French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has shared concerns that ISIL may at sometime arm itself with biological and chemical weapons for use in terror attacks on Europe in the future. It is the opinion of Valls that nothing can be ruled out in dealing with ISIL. And so efforts will be continuing to undermine all sources of revenue for ISIL while military assaults continue against strategic ISIL sites. Clearly extreme caution should be taken in dealing with ISIL.