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One Of The Islamic State’s Biggest Oil Customers May Surprise You

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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One of the Islamic State’s biggest oil customers is the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, a senior U.S. Treasury official said Thursday.

“ISIL is selling a great deal of oil to the Assad regime,” Adam Szubin, acting under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the Treasury, said in London according to Reuters. Assad’s forces and ISIS have been in direct conflict with one another for the better part of two years.

“The two are trying to slaughter each other, and they are still engaged in millions and millions of dollars of trade,” he added.

ISIS oil on the black market sells cheap, as much as 40% below market value in some cases, so it’s possible Assad is using the oil to fuel his war machine or is selling it elsewhere. Years of warfare have undoubtedly taxed Assad’s infrastructure and economy.

ISIS has sold over $500 million in oil, and as much as $1 billion from pillaging and looting, Szubin said.

The announcement comes just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin alleged the Turkish government has been directly involved ISIS oil smuggling. Tensions are high between the two countries after Turkey downed a Russian jet last month.

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