13:31 GMT +323 March 2017
    Oil well pumps are seen in the Rmeilane oil field in Syria's northerneastern Hasakeh province on July 15, 2015

    Russia's Airstrikes on Illegal Oil Infrastructure Undermine ISIL Livelihood

    Middle East
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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)

    Having dealt a heavy blow to ISIL's military capabilities, Russian forces can now focus on destroying the group's economic potential by hitting where it hurts the most – the illegal oil business, political scientist Nikita Smagin told Radio Sputnik.

    Massive airstrikes, according to the analyst, could seriously limit ISIL's ability to deliver stolen oil to the black market. Selling oil stolen from oilfields in Iraq and Syria has been a major source of income for the terrorism group. Militants are making as much as $2 million daily, according to different estimates

    Prior to airstrike campaigns, the key approach to dealing with ISIL's illegal business activities involved exerting political pressure on the buyers.

    "This method does not seem to be working. There are still those, mainly in Turkey, who purchase oil and petroleum products from ISIL," the analyst explained.

    Recent terrorist acts in France, Turkey and elsewhere, carried out by the radical group, could be the proverbial final straw. Ankara, in Smagin's opinion, could now join those who try to influence buyers of ISIL oil.

    "Turkey could have realized the danger ISIL presents," he assumed, adding that Russian airstrikes are taking care of the rest.

    On Friday, Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed that the Russian aerial campaign undermined ISIL infrastructure preventing the terrorist group from smuggling oil. Unable to deliver 60,000 tons of oil daily, ISIL is losing some $1.5 million per day, according to his estimates.
    Russian forces recently destroyed 15 oil storage and refining facilities, as well as 525 tankers.

    Smagin believes that Russia's campaign, launched in late September following a formal request from Damascus, is gradually reaching its intended goals.

    "ISIL is getting weaker. They are not making any military progress. On the contrary, they are suffering defeat after defeat. Recruiting new fighters has also become complicated," he stated.

    Russian air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria
    © Sputnik/
    Russian air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria
    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)


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    Oil, Daesh, Russian aerial campaign, airstrike, oil facilities, Turkey, Syria, Russia
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    • Of course they're selling this stolen oil to their "bosses" aka gulf countries and turkey..! Good Job Russia!
    • avatar
      Of course, NATO with its superior secret intelligence and high tech weapons have not hit even one of these sources of ISIS financing.
    • Syden A D
      Destroy the terrorists sources of revenue and establish a hand over them
    • marc.hopf
      Very good News for us - and very bad News for Sultan Erdogan. And of course it will help to stabilise the oil price
    • choticastile
      For sure it does! However, the hitherto secret funders of IS are most probably not too happy about it, as they'll have to fork out more and also work out another way to achieve this.

      Hey, you disloyal to your countries and the world and corrupt to the core twisted bstds -- Your days are numbered! -- We're watching you!
    • choticastilein reply toSyden A D(Show commentHide comment)
      Syden Aldreen Davids, Without funds or salaries, or ammo and drugs, it will spell instant death to their dastardly grand scale ops. This would make, as you say rounding up the hard core stragglers so much easier.
    • avatar
      Russia: you have opened the eyes of the world. Thank you.
    • qvasko 15
      Great guys.....it was a main business that ISIS had profit off...as strikes, cutting their profit paths is default
    • Syden A Din reply tochoticastile(Show commentHide comment)
      choticastile, the best way to terrorize terrorists , is to distabilize their source of revenue. Revenue is all they use to purchase logistics , ammo , and other military necessities
    • choticastilein reply toSyden A D(Show commentHide comment)
      Syden Aldreen Davids, Exactly what I said mate!
    • samantha956
      The Saudi are the ones practicing and promoting Wahhabi Islam which contains all the elements of the religion we find so appalling. There are several very wealthy Saudi families financing ISIL, but I'm fairly certain the ruling family hasn't come out and publicly voiced any support. If they themselves finance, that I don't know. There are several smaller countries like Qatar that does as well. The vast majority of their money is coming from the oil of course and it seems that the trail to the black market is leading to Turkey. Bombing the oil fields that Daesh uses is an excellent strategy. Go Russia!
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