Calgary Herald

ASSAD CUT DEAL THAT EARNED ISIL MILLIONS FROM OIL

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BEIRUT The Syrian government cut deals with ISIL to help the jihadists earn more than US$40 million a month from the sale of oil, documents recovered from a U.S. and British raid on a key commander have revealed.

Thousands of spreadshee­ts and accounts kept by the group’s oil boss, Abu Sayyaf, retrieved by U.S. Special Forces’ last year, reveal how the two sides forged a mutually beneficial arrangemen­t despite being at war.

ISIL fighters captured some of the state’s best-producing oilfields in eastern Syria in 2013.

The documents, seen by the Wall Street Journal, show the scale of the collusion.

At the height of production in late 2014 to early 2015, ISIL recorded US$40.7 million profit each month — most of which was made from sales to President Bashar Assad’s government, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Spreadshee­ts show ISIL’s natural resource revenues in the six months that ended in February 2015 amounted to US$289.5 million.

The huge profits continued until Abu Sayyaf ’s death in a raid by U.S. Special Forces and the SAS on his home in Deir Ezzour in 2015.

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