US offers $5 million reward for tips that would help take down Daesh’s oil trade

US offers $5 million reward for tips that would help take down Daesh’s oil trade
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Published October 1st, 2015 - 03:22 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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As of July Daesh raised $8 million to $10 million every month through oil and gas smuggling. (AFP/File)
As of July Daesh raised $8 million to $10 million every month through oil and gas smuggling. (AFP/File)
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The US State Department on Tuesday announced a $5 million reward for tips to stymie Daesh's sales of oil and antiquities.

As of July, Daesh (ISIS) has brought in $8 million to $10 million each month through its smuggling of oil and gas throughout Iraq and Syria. Additional funds have been reaped from the sale of antiquities stolen by Daesh militants, and from extortion, robbery and ransom.

The funds have been used to pay monthly salaries to its militants and provide stipends to their families.

The State Department said the reward marks the first time its "Rewards for Justice" program incentivizes the public to take part in stymiying an extremist group's activities. In addition to fizzling their financial income, the State Department said opposing the militants would help preserve cultural and historical sites that would otherwise be looted and destroyed, such as Syria's Palmyra earlier in September.

The reward announcement follows the release of a congressional report by an eight-member bipartisan task force which determined the United States is failing to decrease the number of Americans who travel abroad to join Daesh. Since 2011, more than 25,000 foreigners from the United States and other countries have traveled to Syria to join the group, with at least 7,000 of those joining the ranks since December 2014.

Some progress in cutting off Daesh's revenue stream has been made. Risk consultancy group Verisk Maplecroft confirmed the group's oil income nosedived to $500,000 a day from last year's figure of $1.6 million a day. Additionally, airstrikes have damaged Daesh infrastructure including wells, makeshift gas and diesel refiners, and fuel convoys.

Daesh has resorted to extortion and taxing, such as levying a 50 percent tariff on Iraqi government salaries, and vehicles passing through Daesh territory are charged 10 percent of the value of whatever they are carrying. Business owners must fork over 2.5 percent of their annual revenue.

This story has been edited from the source material.

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