The infamous terrorist organization continues to terrorize the world and inflicting some serious damage wherever they hit. This is due to the fact that they have enough manpower and resources to fight. Without the money they have, they would have never have come as far as they are now and would not be this strong now.
It is estimated that they make about 1.5million dollars a day by selling oil. Their territory includes areas that are rich in it and have taken over some of Syria’s most important oil fields. Therefore they are now able to produce about 30.000-40.000 barrels a day. They still have the infrastructures of a real state and therefore have engineers and salesmen who take care of it and its economy. It doesn’t matter if these people do so because they were forced to or not, either way they cause a huge damage. ISIL makes a huge profit, a profit which goes into the purchase of weapons and their soldier’s salaries.
The main question is, who buys their oil? Due to the current tensions between the two countries, Russia accuses Turkey to help ISIL sell its oil, but this theory has yet to be proven. It is much more difficult than that. There is a huge web of buyers and sellers, which is so extensive and impenetrable that it is difficult to investigate. Identifying individuals or organisations who are behind all this and tell where the oil goes to or where it comes from, is nearly impossible. And, of course, there is the usual dose of corruption that raises the difficulty. There are simple civilians who live in these areas or rebels who have to buy Isil’s oil as they often have no other possibility to get oil. We as well might power our cars on their oil.
So the answer to the question who buys their oil is: probably everyone! But what can we do against it? How can we stop financing our own enemies? Some say that the production may dry out, due to costly maintenance of the fields. Unfortunately this will take years or maybe even decades. We could also bomb them, but they would simply rebuild the fields or just work with what’s left. There is no quick solution.
The local governments have work together tighter and be included by the western coalition in intelligence, military and other matters. But even if Isil’s oil trades are stopped, they still get money from many other activities, such as drugs or prostitution. It may seem odd and childish, but we only have a chance if all of Isil’s enemies work together.
There is no easy way to get rid of Isil, but eventually they will be defeated. Who thought the cold war would end one day?