"The Green Weapons" gives ISIS $ 200 million annually
Monday, 03 August 2015 11:14

Shafaq News / Wheat constitutes a financial resource and a mean to control the population, it has become a strategic importance for the "Islamic state" organization to prevail its influence,

having settled in the core areas of production in Syria and Iraq.

In the "Islamic state" sweeping offensive in northern Iraq in June 2014, ISIS fighters seized wheat "the green weapons" stockpile in the provinces of Nineveh and Salahuddin, which together produce more than a third of wheat production and 40 percent of barley production in the country.

The area of control of the extremist organization area include (stores) of grain in the region, north of Iraq and northeastern Syria, according to a researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations "French" and author of "geopolitical wheat policy" Sebastian Apis.

The organization took on more than a million tons of wheat, i.e. "five annual consumption in Iraq," according to "Jean-Charles Preezar" an expert on financing of terrorism. In Syria, jihadists enjoyed 30 percent of the wheat production in the regions of Raqqa and Deir al-Zour, subjected to their control by the expert. They also control 75 percent of the cotton production that Syria was one of the senior Exporters before the outbreak of war.

As the case in parts of the Middle East and North Africa, bread forms the basis of nutrition in Iraq and Syria that import wheat in addition to their local production.

Jihadists did not miss the opportunity. On the one hand, " they have taken a lot of wheat to Iraq and Syria to make flour and sell it," On the other hand, they make selling it to the area outside their control as they did with oil, particularly "across the Turkish border," according to Preezar.

The security expert added that the profits are equivalent to about $ 200 million a year, although the quantities remain small compared to global exchanges of this kind of most grain cultivation around the world.

Wheat also allows gaining satisfaction of the population, where the extremist organization took the initiative to distribute free bread or sell it with very low prices in areas dominated by them.

But after the war began to pose "a major threat to food security in the region," according to Apis, who added that "production began to decline in spite that the numbers cannot be determined " whether in Syria or Iraq.

The researcher said that wars destroy crops and remove needed labor to work in the fields.

Preezar pointed out that, that US-led international coalition strikes impede storage and transport operations, though it avoids –intentionally - wheat fields.

Recently, the United Nations announced that about 10 million Syrians are suffering from food insecurity, almost half of the population.

An official at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) explained at the time that "the agricultural sector (Syrian) was destroyed by the conflict. Therefore it is essential that donor emergency parties provide assistance to farmers unable to work in the next grain planting, which begins in October “.

Thus it may turn on the agrarian issue " the jihadists in the medium term. So what will they do to double crop deterioration? The researcher Apis asked.

While the jihadist of the organization are blessed currently with "independence" on the level of wheat stocks, "its control over natural resources will not be sufficient to ensure its continuity" to anticipate what the expert in financing terrorism , Preezar said.