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Published On: Mon, Jun 23rd, 2014

Iraqi Shiites to US: ‘Stay out’ as Sunni Muslims take control of resources

The Sunni militants in Iraq continue to find success as they have seized control of several cities and the countries’ resources. Despite this violence, the Shiite leadership is warning the United States against military intervention. 

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

As President Obama announces the arrival of 300 American troops to Iraq, said to be present for advisory roles to the Iraqi military, Sunni jihadists are not the only threat facing them. A Shiite cleric loyal to militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr has threatened American soldiers to stay out of Iraq and called for the mobilization of troops to attack Americans should they return to combat in the country.

“We will be ready for you if you are back,” cleric Nassir al Saedi threatened the United States, acting independently from the Shi’ite Iraqi government, which has requested military assistance from the United States in the form of airstrikes.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continues to request help from the US, the possible formation of a Shi’ite jihadist militia working to defeat the United States could force troops to battle two threats at the same time and create a strange union between ISIS and Shi’ites.

A NY Times article chronicles the success of the Sunnis, noting that the ISIS control over cities like Mosul, among the largest in Iraq, and Baiji, home to a major oil refinery. The revenue from these resources would be around $85 billion according to the times.

The insurgents seized as much as $400 million from the central bank in Mosul, said Atheel Nujaifi, the governor of Nineveh Province, and reportedly emptied the vaults in all the other banks in a city of more than one million residents.

“ISIS gets some money from outside donors, but that pales in comparison to their self-funding,” said an American counterterrorism official. “The overwhelming majority of its money comes from criminal activities like extortion, kidnapping, robberies and smuggling. In Mosul, ISIS has probably been hauling in several million dollars monthly just from its extortion racket. In overrunning the town the group is better off financially, but probably to the tune of millions — not hundreds of millions — of dollars.”

While ISIS “is among the wealthiest terrorist groups on the planet,” the official said, “it also has significant expenses. Resources flowing into the group’s coffers tend to move out the door in the form of payments fairly quickly. Unless it has invested very wisely, it’s probably sitting on a pile of assets worth somewhere in the tens of millions of dollars.”

The militant group has so much cash that it has reopened some of the banks it looted in Falluja, in Anbar Province, to store the currency.

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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