Kurdish Officials Implicated in Collaborating With ISIS in Illegal Smuggling Case

A committee investigation the involvement of Kurdish officials in illegally smuggling cars, food, and fuel across territories held by ISIS, largely seen as engaging in a business relationship with the Islamic terrorists organization, has implicated them in the trade and will decide their fates in the coming days. The illegal trade reportedly amounted to approximately $1 million a day, according to Kurdish media network Rudaw.

“Anyone caught smuggling with ISIS should be considered a traitor and the government must punish them,” is a warning that has been issued by KRG (Kurdish Regional Government) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani in the past. A Kurdish MP (Member of Parliament) from the Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal) drew upon that by adding, “We believe that any kind of relationship with ISIS is treachery, and we will hold a meeting in the parliament concerning the smuggling cases if we are asked,” notes Rudaw.

Those involved in the illegal trade includes officials from the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Peshmerga. The investigation committee reportedly includes the KRG’s interior minister and natural resources minister. For legal reasons, the names and identities of those involved will not be revealed until a final verdict is reached.

ISIS is believed to be making up to $3 million a day, primarily through smuggling oil.

In September of last year, it was reported that several members of the EU had purchased oil from ISIS to finance the organization’s mission, although the names of those countries was not revealed. Turkey, which has been vying for a seat in the EU was initially seen as a possible accomplice to the trade with the terrorist organization.

However, several days later United States Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement clearing Turkey’s name saying that Turkey was collaborating with the U.S. in order to prevent ISIS from selling the oil from the wells it seized in Syria and Iraq. Turkey is seen as an ally to the U.S., despite having a tumultuous relationship.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter: @AdelleNaz.


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