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    Daesh, also known as Islamic State, and its army of murderers is depleting by the day, after a series of airstrikes on its oil fields have left the extremist group short of cash to pay its members.

    A Middle East expert has claimed that Daesh fighters are defecting en masse to avoid facing another pay cut. 

    "They're in big trouble," Vera Mironova, an international security scholar told the Mirror in an interview. 

    She added that Daesh's "for-profit militants" were now thought to be joining rival militias and terror groups in Iraq and Syria.

    Daesh — which boasts between 19,000 and 25,000 fighters- has been left almost broke after airstrikes carried out by Russia and a western coalition have severely damaged the oil fields and facilities that provide most of the terror organization's funding.  

    A video released by Russian intelligence operatives in December 2015, seemed to show that most of the Daesh-sourced oil was sold to Turkey at a reduced price on the black market. Turkish officials subsequently denied the allegations.

    An undated still image taken from a video made available by the Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow, Russia December 2, 2015, shows the Turkish-Syrian border crossing. Russia's Defense Ministry officials displayed satellite images on Wednesday which they said showed columns of tanker trucks loading with oil at installations controlled by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and then crossing the border into neighboring Turkey.
    © Photo : Russian Defence Ministry
    An undated still image taken from a video made available by the Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow, Russia December 2, 2015, shows the Turkish-Syrian border crossing. Russia's Defense Ministry officials displayed satellite images on Wednesday which they said showed columns of tanker trucks loading with oil at installations controlled by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and then crossing the border into neighboring Turkey.

    Kamal Alam, a Syrian military analyst and a fellow at think-tank RUSI, told Sputnik that most of the credit for cash-strapping Daesh should go to the Russian air force.

    "It is mainly Russian airstrikes, together with attacks carried out by the Syrian army, that focused on the oil fields," Mr Alam told Sputnik.

    "Western and Arab countries' attacks were more focused on attacking the group's military apparatus."

    Mr Alam agreed with the notion that Daesh fighters are probably joining other, richer extremist groups that are not being targeted by the airstrikes and which, he said, "are often funded by wealthy backers from the Arab Gulf countries and western powers."

    Furthermore, Mr Alam underlined that, while the attacks are certainly taking a toll on Daesh's main source of cash, the group's coffers are still relatively full. 

    "It [Daesh] is by no means 'poor', right now," Mr Alam told Sputnik. 

    More importantly, its current predicament might make the evil death cult all the more belligerent. 

    Even if Daesh simply decided to merge with another militant group to join forces (and finances), it is more likely that they will still "fight to take its oil back," Mr Alam said..

    Alternatively, the terrorists could try and make up for the oil losses by diversifying their economic activities.

    "They could try to get the money from other sources. Like from kidnappings, drug smuggling, sex trafficking. They'll just find another way to make money," Mr Alam told Sputnik.

    Topic:
    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)

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    Tags:
    Middle East, Oil, Jihadist militants, anti-Daesh coalition, oil fields, terror group, cash, Syrian conflict, terrorism, funding, military, war, Daesh, Russian Aerospace Forces, Syria
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