WASHINGTON, October 24 (RIA Novosti) - The United States believes that Damascus is buying oil from the Islamic State (IS), US Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen stated.
"In a further indication of the Asad regime's depravity, it seems the Syrian government has made an arrangement to purchase oil from ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant]," Cohen stated Thursday during his speech at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace in Washington.
Talking about IS finance, he said the United States understands that the IS controls oil refineries of various sizes and output capacities and earns some revenue from the sale of refined petroleum products.
Cohen said that according to their last month's information, the IS was selling oil at substantially discounted prices to a variety of middlemen, including some from Turkey, who then transported the oil to be resold.
"It also appears that some of the oil emanating from territory where ISIL operates has been sold to Kurds in Iraq, and then resold into Turkey," Cohen stated.
The Under Secretary additionally noted that it is difficult to get precise revenue estimates that the jihadists get from these transactions because of the murky nature of the market.
"We estimate that beginning in mid-June, ISIL has earned approximately $1 million a day from oil sales," Cohen added.
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq and declared an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.
A US-led coalition is currently carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Syria and Iraq.