Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

ISIS controls 40% of Iraq’s wheat, selling it back to govt on black market

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 15, 2014

Iraqi security forces leave a military base as Kurdish forces take over control in Kirkuk

Scoop Nest.com – ISIS

US arms are now being supplied directly to Kurdish forces, independently of the central government, fuelling the disintegration of the Iraqi state. And IS – whose sectarian ideology is in reality only a more violent version of the Saudi regime’s, the west’s most important ally in the Arab world – is consolidating its hold on western Iraq and eastern Syria, where it is in effect allied with the US and its friends.

Its rise is a tragedy for both peoples. But another round of US and British military intervention would only strengthen IS and boost its credibility – as well as increase the risk of terror attacks at home. The likelihood is that it can only be overcome by a functioning state in both Iraq and Syria. That in turn demands a decisive break with the sectarian and ethnic politics bequeathed by a decade of war and intervention.

It’s not about the Yazidis or the Christians. As Obama has made clear, they’re something of a side issue compared with the defence of the increasingly autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan – long a key US and unofficial Israeli ally – and American interests in its oil boom capital Irbil, in particular.

The Islamic State, the jihadist group formerly known as ISIS, has seized around 40 percent of Iraq’s wheat as its look to tighten its economic grip on the country. They are also looting government grain silos to sell crops on the black market.

The group, who came to prominence in June, has taken advantage of many thousands fleeing their advance, fearing their strict interpretation of Islam, to take control of large areas of farmland. The Islamic State now controls five of Iraq’s most fertile provinces and the United Nations food agency believes they now have around 40 percent of wheat grown in the country under their control.

Not all the farmers who have come into contact with IS have fled, however, as they fear losing their livelihoods, according to Hassan Nusayif al-Tamimi, who is the head of an independent union of farmers cooperatives in Iraq. He says that those who have stayed are coming under a lot of pressure to give up what they own.

“They are destroying crops and produce, and this is creating friction with the farmers. They are placing farmers under a lot of pressure so that they can take their grain,” he told Reuters, adding that farmers had reported fighters were also wrecking wells.

In the last few days, while the world has been overwhelmed by the flow of information about atrocities committed by Islamic State (IS) jihadists, public officials and local media channels have confirmed that hundreds of Yezidi and Christian women have been abducted, some of them buried alive and others subjected to rape and sexual slavery.  

On 2 August, the IS attacked Sinjar and its surrounding areas, inhabited for more than 4000 years by peaceful Yezidi community, who practice a faith reminiscent of Zoroastrianism. Later in the week, the attacks were extended to other areas in the Nineveh plain, including Qaraqosh, Iraq’s Christian capital. The jihadists have murdered thousands of civilians, buried some alive in mass graves, burnt their homes, pillaged and destroyed their holy shrines, prompting a mass exodus.

We have seen long columns of women, men and children fleeing their homeland, trapped in barren Sinjar Mount without basic necessities and vital supplies and facing death. Many children have already died; on the second day of the invasion, UNICEF reported that the children died as a “direct consequence of violence, displacement and dehydration”.

ISIS controls 40% of Iraq’s wheat, selling it back to govt on black market – report

ISIL holds 7 oil fields, large supplies of wheat in Iraq

Sexual violence as a war strategy in Iraq

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