A Middle East expert has revealed that ISIS is earning $3 million a day from oil revenues. This makes the extremist group more self-sufficient and independent, unlike others that depend on donations, reports said.
Theodore Karasik, director of research and consultancy at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said ISIS generates millions from oil sales based on reliable sources in the region.
According to the estimates of the International Energy Agency (IEA), seven oil fields are under the control of ISIS. The oil fields can produce an average of 80,000 barrels of oil per day. Reports said they are worth more than $8 million at spot prices.
Karasik said he does not know how much oil ISIS sells, but he guessed that the $3 million sales must have come from oil being sold at a great discount. He also speculated that the oil fields may not be working at their full capacity.
His sources told him that the oil is being sold to other countries illegally, but no names were provided.
The Middle East expert thinks Islamic State militants cannot disrupt international oil markets since they do not have the means to manipulate oil production in areas where the largest oil fields are found. The number of oil barrels from ISIS-controlled fields would not be enough to seriously affect international trade.
Reports have surfaced that international companies operating in Iraq and Baghdad have pulled out employees due to the ongoing conflict. Although they remain active in the south, international oil companies will return to those regions once the Iraqi government can create a coalition government.
Meanwhile, the United States has mobilised its allies in an effort to widen its assault on ISIS. A possible U.S. military action is seen in Syria to expand airstrikes.
U.S. President Barack Obama has declared he will broaden his campaign against the militants in Iraq and Syria. Speaking before the American Legion, Mr Obama said uprooting "cancer" like ISIS will not be quick and easy. He added that the U.S. will build a coalition to fight the "barbaric terrorists."