Iraqi officials confirmed on Friday that ISIL has seized massive economic resources in several important Iraqi cities during the last six months. They noted this would enable the organisation to resist efforts to impose economic sanctions on it.
ISIL seized warehouses belonging to the Iraqi ministry of agriculture in the governorates of Kirkuk and Ninawa and took massive amounts of corn, in addition to agriculture tools and pesticides.
Member of the Agriculture Committee in the Iraqi parliament Furat al-Tamimi told Anadolu news agency that his committee had asked the ministry of agriculture to calculate all the damage caused by ISIL in order to know the exact stolen amounts.
Al-Tamimi said that some of the agriculture tools were moved to Syria and sold there. "That earned much money for ISIL, who became immunised against any kind of economic embargo," he pointed out.
Last week, the ministry of agriculture said that around 1.5 million tonnes of wheat were stolen from farms in Ninawa. Last July, ISIL seized a massive amount of military equipment and controlled several oil wells. This strengthened its economy considerably.
Iraqi oil ministry said that oil smuggling by ISIL was partly responsible for the drop of oil prices in global markets. 95 per cent of the Iraqi economy is dependent on oil.
Based on this information about ISIL resources, an official in the Iraqi ministry of planning Falah Hassan expects that confronting the ISIL economy has become very difficult.
Hassan said that ISIL strengthened its economy in Iraq and Syria and undermining its economic base needs massive security efforts in line with the political efforts, stressing that ISIL has safeguarded itself from any attack that targets its agriculture, oil and military abilities.