ISIL smuggling oil via Turkey: Iraqi minister

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Monday, 15 December 2014

The Iraqi finance minister says that the ISIL terrorist group is smuggling Iraqi and Syrian oil via Turkey.

"They control a number of oil fields in Syria and Iraq and they smuggle this oil overland through trucks, through middlemen to Turkey or towards other countries," Hoshyar Zebari told Al-Jazeera news channel on Friday.

Calling ISIL "the richest [terrorist] group in the world," Zebari said that the Takfiri militants have plundered about USD 500 million from Iraqi cities of Mosul, Tikrit and others.

He went on to say that Iraqi armed forces are prepared to launch an operation to liberate northern city of Mosul from ISIL terrorist group operating in Iraq and Syria.

Zebari added that coordination between Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition is a key to the success of the offensive against the Takfiri group.

He also rejected comments by US officials that the fight against ISIL could take years.

"Contrary to what many people think, I don’t think this will be a long drawn-out battle," the finance minister said.

The comments came as the Iraqi army managed to liberate two key districts in the city of Samarra on Friday.

During the past few days, clashes have intensified between pro-government forces and the ISIL south of Tikrit and around Samarra.

The ISIL launched an offensive in Iraq in June and took control of the country’s second largest city, Mosul, before sweeping through parts of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland.

The Takfiri militants have been carrying out horrific acts of violence, including public decapitations and crucifixions, against all Syrian and Iraqi communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.

Senior Iraqi officials have repeatedly blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some other Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.

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