U.S. Treasury: ISIL generates $1M a day via black market oil sales

Global Business

U.S. Treasury officials said that ISIL is one of the best funded and most sophisticated terrorist organizations the United States has ever confronted, and much of that funding comes from oil sales. CCTV America’s Daniel Ryntjes reports from Washington.

As U.S. and coalition air strikes pound militant positions in Iraq and Syria, one key target is the oil infrastructure. The U.S. Treasury Department said the Islamic State is earning about $1 million a day selling oil through a long-established black market network in the region.

The U.S. Treasury is seeking to identify the Islamic State’s network of financial managers and exclude them from the international banking system through sanctions. It also called on foreign governments to abide by their commitments not to pay ransoms for hostages. ISIL collected about $20 million from ransoms this year, the department said.

The Treasury Department also said the system of extortion to raise funds from people and businesses in areas controlled by ISIL can only ultimately be addressed by reducing the territory they control.

For more on U.S. and global efforts against Islamic State, CCTV America talked with energy and oil analyst Antonia Juhasz from San Francisco.

Fighting in Kobane impacts Turkey’s economy

The fighting in the northern Syrian border city of Kobane has forced more than 200,000 people to flee into southeastern Turkey. Many of these refugees have ended up in the border province of Sanilurfa, Turkey where locals have said they’ve seen a boost in business. CCTV America’s Natalie Carney reports from the Turkey-Syria border.

The border town of Suruc, Turkey in Sanliurfa Province has seen its population double in the last month. Financial experts have said with the violent situation dragging on in Kobane, the mounting number of refugees is becoming a drag on the province’s economy.

“It’s very difficult for Sanliurfa’s economy to deal with this situation. People continue to sell and produce but still compared to the last year, there is a 30 percent decline,” said financial adviser Song Issever. “So we could say that the financial sector has been affected badly.”

However, on a national scale, the country’s economy has been resilient. Turkey has been able to absorb its 1.6 million Syrian refugees quite well. The government says that since 2011, it’s spent around $3.5 billion, which is not even 1 percent of the country’s GDP.

Turkey’s GDP in 2013 ran about $820 billion U.S. dollars, however economists have warned that more and more money is leaving the country due to regional concerns.

“We are going through hard days both economically and politically,” Issever said. “Our society has become a consumer society. Therefore, capital flight becomes unavoidable for the marketplace.”