WASHINGTON, September 19 (RIA Novosti) -The administration of the US President Barack Obama should impose sanctions against anyone purchasing oil from the Islamic State (IS), California Congressman, Alan Lowenthal told RIA Novosti, following a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing with Secretary of State John Kerry.
Lowenthal said that the Obama administration should be coming to Congress and asking for sanctions "on anyone, who purchases one bit of oil from ISIS."
"We all hear about the financial base about ISIS, the sale of oil that they had. Will [Kerry] come to Congress and ask for sanctions against anyone, who purchases oil from ISIS? I'm not hearing anything about how we're going to cut the financial piece of ISIS," said Lowenthal in an interview with RIA Novosti. "We put sanctions on everyone else," he continued. "Mr. Kerry has described what we're doing militarily... what are we doing on the non-military side?" Lowenthal asked.
During his opening testimony on Thursday, Secretary Kerry told members of Congress that the effort against the Islamic State would be "not just military and not just kinetic," but would focus on cutting off the financing of IS militants, and stemming the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the region. President Obama's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also told members of Congress on Tuesday that there is no strictly military solution to defeat the Islamic State, as it will require political and diplomatic elements as well.
This week the information had spread that NATO member state and potential US partner against IS militants, Turkey, is allegedly purchasing oil from the Islamic State. Government officials estimate that the sale of oil by IS produces about $1 million in revenue each day.
Congressman Lowenthal, who serves on the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on terrorism, non-proliferation and trade, argued that the flows of oil and revenue for IS should be cut off. "I think that the lifeline of ISIS is the ability to financially fund all of this. And I'm not hearing how we're going to cut that off," he said.
The IS, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a Sunni jihadi group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq, seizing vast areas in both countries and announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.
Last week, US President Barack Obama announced a strategy to counter the IS threat, implying the creation of a broad anti-IS coalition.