The cash-rich terror group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is reportedly under heavy financial stress and had started resorting to weird ways to extract more revenue. According to reports, ISIS has been hard hit by US-led airstrikes that destroyed many of its oil fields. A vast majority of their territories were also lost from the assault of Russian forces. The combined assaults have radically diminished the group’s revenue sources.
There had been a 30 percent decline in revenue in the past year. Bombing raids on oil installations put a major squeeze on the Raqqa government’s finances, reports The Sun.
In specific terms, the regime’s income is down by a third –from $79 million to just $56 million a month. In the last 9 months, the revenue from oil and gas fields plunged by 26 percent, media reports revealed.
The terror outfit was also believed to have recently cut salaries of fighters by half. It is now down to just $185 a month for the lowest ranks. A report by IHS Inc said the desperate ISIS bosses are not sparing even satellite dishes to make up for the revenue loss.
IHS senior analyst Ludovico Carlino said: “Our research found that the Islamic State is increasing taxes on basic services and coming up with new ways to get money from the population.”
It said tolls are levied from truck drivers, surcharges are extracted from satellite dishes and ‘exit fees’ has been slapped on people leaving the city. These are just some of their newer tax resources.
There are also hefty fines on wrong-side driving and a high penalty is given to wrong answers on questions relating to the Koran. Cash payments are also accepted instead of carrying out beatings or executions of Islamic crimes.
The Colorado-based IHS was quoted by Bloomberg, saying that the terrorist group lost 22 percent of its territory in Iraq and Syria over the past 15 months. It surmises that the group’s capacity to recruit new soldiers will be at risk. So, will be its capacity for paying existing supporters and running the basic services in the areas it controlled.
The findings were endorsed by Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, who said Islamic State “has lost more than 40 percent of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and in Syria.
He said the group has not been able to “take hold of any key terrain for almost a year now.”
However, IHS analyst Ludovico Carlino wrote in the report: “The Islamic State is still a force in the region, but this drop in revenue is a significant figure and will increase the challenge for the group to run its territory in the long term.”