Trump: Kill ISIS By DESTROYING Its Oil

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Files)

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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In an overarching interview Saturday with The New York Times, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested the best way to destroy Islamic State is to destroy the terrorist group’s access to oil.

In the interview, which focused on foreign policy and included 36 mentions of the word “oil,” Trump harped on his belief the U.S. should have swiped Iraq’s oil while occupying the country and chided U.S. officials for not taking the crude. Now, Trump says the only option is to destory ISIS’s oil production capacity.

“I’ve been saying, take the oil. I’ve been saying it for years. Take the oil,” Trump told the New York Times. “They still haven’t taken the oil. They still haven’t taken it. And they hardly hit the oil. They hardly make a dent in the oil.”

“Well now, we have to destroy the oil. We should’ve taken it and we would’ve have it. Now we have to destroy the oil,” Trump said. “I’ve said, hit the banking channels. You know, they have very sophisticated banking channels, which I understand, but I don’t think a lot of people do understand.”

Some energy insiders, however, believe it will take a lot more than bombing ISIS’s oil to stop the group. Analysts argue ISIS likely gets the bulk of its funding through other means, like taxation or selling artifacts, since its oil producing capabilities are limited.

“The oil under IS’ control at Qaiyara in Iraq, like that in some Syrian fields now held by the group, is very heavy,” Luay Al Khatteeb, the founding director of the Iraq Energy Institute, wrote in a February editorial in the Petroleum Economist.

The heavy nature of the oil coming from the region, Al Khatteeb noted, makes it difficult to refine into petroleum. The oil from Qayyara was, until recently, valued in local sales at only $4 per barrel, according to Al Khatteeb’s sources.

He also noted how ISIS lacks the kind of sophisticated techniques needed to recover oil, leading to production levels at or near 20,000 barrels per day.

Energy Information Administration, noted in 2015 that Syrian oil production had collapsed to just 25,000 barrels a day amid war and strife, which is in direct contrast to the 380,000 barrel a day output it pushed out pre-2011 — before the country’s civil war began in earnest.

These levels have netted ISIS little more than $10 per barrel.

Al Khatteeb went on to note how internal ISIS communications show the heavy crude accounts for only 27 percent of the terrorist group’s funding in oil-rich Syria. Taxation, and the asset confiscation of people living under ISIS control, as well as the pilfering of assets from those murdered and expelled, make up more than 40 percent of the group’s finances.

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