Official: ISIS looking to take over oil assets in Libya, other regions
A senior U.S. official says the Islamic State wants to expand its oil business beyond Syria, and is looking at assets in Libya and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
In Syria, ISIS has control of about 80 percent of the oil and gas fields, Reuters reports. The United States is working to gather information on pipelines, trucking routes, infrastructure, and oil fields that could be vulnerable to an attack by ISIS, said the official, who requested anonymity. "They are looking at the oil assets in Libya and elsewhere. We'll be prepared."
The U.S. estimates that ISIS could bring in as much as $40 million a month in oil sales, and airstrikes have been targeting fuel trucks in an attempt to slow down business and strike a blow to ISIS's finances. There has been some success on that front, the official said: "The costs of the [oil] operation have gone up and the ability to move it around has gone down." Catherine Garcia