Same LinkOil, naturally, is a big source of revenue. ISIS controls of all of Syria's eastern oil fields, making it the premier energy supplier for the country and a racketeer for fuel. The Bab al-Salameh crossing, which is now ISIS's only means of entry into northern Syria, is responsible for feeding the entire caliphate, from Aleppo to Fallujah. "So imagine how many trucks are crossing every day," Abu Khaled said.
Yet Bab al-Salameh is controlled on the Syrian side by the non-ISIS rebels, and of course on the Turkish side by the government in Ankara. Why can't either simply shut down the crossing and deprive ISIS of its revenue stream?
"Because there is no choice. ISIS has the diesel, the oil. Last time, a little bit before Ramadan, the rebels closed ISIS's crossing." ISIS responded by turning off the tap. "The price of oil in Syria went up. The bakeries stopped because there was no diesel. The cars, the hospitals, everything shut down."
??????ISIS also, famously, sells Assad's oil back to him. "In Aleppo, people have electricity for maybe three or four hours per day. The electricity station is in Asfireh, ISIS-controlled territory, near Kweris airport. So the regime pays for the fuel to run the station. It pays the salaries for the workers because they're specialized and can't be replaced. And ISIS takes 52 percent of the electricity and the regime takes 48 percent. That's the deal they have with Assad."
12345he also found it remarkable that, for all the many months of the siege of kobani, isis fighters came and went as they pleased across the syrian-turkish border. The second-largest army in nato stationed soldiers, tanks, and armored personnel carriers was within spitting distance of one of the most intense war zones of the syria conflict and did virtually nothing, apart from sometimes firing water cannons at kurds trying to flee into turkey.
"i don't know the relationship between isis and turkey," abu khaled said. "during the kobani war, shipments of weapons arrived to isis from turkey. Until now, the gravely wounded go to turkey, shave their beards, cut their hair, and go to the hospital. Somebody showed me pictures in kobani. You see isis guys eating mcdonald's french fries and hamburgers. Where did they get it? In turkey."