ISIS made the US dollar their official currency, which signals their financial struggles.
Just last week it was reported by The Slatest that the militant group ISIS has officially named the US dollar as their primary and only acceptable form of currency. The currency is used within the territories they occupy between members of the group and is used for taxes, utility payments, and fines. Though the change may seem as though it is a positive one for the group, which inherently makes it a negative one for everyone else, this is actually a sign that the terrorist organization is struggling financially.
In 2015, ISIS made a lengthy video discussing the production of their gold, silver, and copper minted coins made for currency to strengthen their caliphate and apparently destroy the US economy. The video, which is almost an hour long, claims that they want to deliver a second blow to the US’s “capitalist financial system of enslavement” (well who can argue there…) by no longer using their currency and instead using precious metals. Their goal was to make it a globally-used currency, but experts say this would be the equivalent of financial institutions accepting “blood diamonds” and that it wouldn’t gain traction. The group says that gold is the “only true measure of wealth,” so if anything points to the fact that they are no longer as wealthy as they once were, it’s that they can no longer afford to use gold.
Exiles from ISIS-occupied territories confirmed that they are struggling to make ends meet. One resident said, “You can sense the frustration, their morale is down.” Another resident reported that ISIS fighters who used to earn $400 per month are now not receiving any income at all and that food has been rationed to only two meals per day, according to The New York Times.
Though there is no clear reason why this change in finances is occurring, two of the biggest powers in the world, the United States and Russia, have both jumped on the opportunity to take credit for the group’s decline.
Lisa Monaco, President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, said that, “We are seeing our efforts having some effect on their financial flows. And it’s difficult to get a handle on just how much because of the different illicit ways in which they are handling their finances but you’ve seen the efforts that our military has taken to take out cash storage sites, and I think it is our hope and expectation that that will have demonstrable effects. On what order of magnitude, I think it’s difficult to say.”
Monaco’s statement is pretty vague and illusive compared to Russia’s, as reported by AP: “Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin on Friday that Russian warplanes destroyed 15 oil refining and storage facilities in Syria and 525 trucks carrying oil during this week’s bombing blitz. He said this deprived IS of $1.5 million in daily income from oil sales.”
ISIS’ change to using the US dollar sends a clear message all on its own; though the exact cause is unknown, whether it be one or all nations involved in bringing them down, ISIS is struggling and it is everyone’s hope that their sharp decline continues.
What do you think ISIS’ change of currency means? Has the US really contributed to their financial turmoil? Comment your thoughts below and share this article!
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