The US is considering bombing pipelines in Syria, which it claims is in an attempt to cut off the huge profits being made by ISIS from captured oilfields.The Independent quotes Julieta Valls Noyes, the deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs during a visit to London, that ISIS was making $2 million a day off oil sales and that the US would consider airstrikes as well as “kinetic strikes against some pipelines” and “actual physical action to stop the flow”.
The trouble with this justification for destroying Syria’s oil pipelines, is that ISIS does not have the capability to use the pipelines to transfer oil. ISIS transports the stolen oil on the back of trucks, and sells it on the black market in Turkey.This is admitted in the same Independent article that quoted Ms. Noyes.The Independent claims:
Isis has sold some of the fuel from seized facilities back to the Damascus regime through local deals, while shipments had been sent into Turkey for the black market, with the Erdogan government accused of turning a blind eye to the illicit transactions.If the US truly intended to stop ISIS oil profits, they would bomb these oil convoys, which are easily spotted via conventional surveillance flights already allegedly taking place as part of ongoing Western operations. The US agenda behind destroying Syria’s pipelines has very little to do with ISIS oil profits, and far more to do with destroying Syria’s oil infrastructure.
In fact, the statistic that ISIS is making 2 million dollars a day from the sale of crude oil is an estimate from a single consulting company (IHS) based in Colorado in the United States. The US administration is choosing to quote this as if it were without a shred of doubt. It’s far more likely that the scale of the profits has been overblown to deflect from the fact that ISIS is receiving funding from state actors such as Turkey, Qatar and other Persian Gulf states, while at the same time providing an excuse to target Syrian infrastructure. …