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IS oil smugglers will feel wrath, Kurdish leader says

Seven arrested in Kirkuk for ties to pilfering.

By Daniel J. Graeber
IS oil smugglers will feel wrath, Kurdish leader says
Kurdish government issues stern warning to oil smugglers tied to Islamic State campaign. UPI/Mohammed al Jumaily | License Photo

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The Kurdish minister of natural resources issued a warning to the Sunni-led Islamic State there would be no quarter for oil smugglers.

Kurdish Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami said during a World Economic Forum conference in Istanbul authorities arrested seven people tied to oil smuggling near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Four tankers of oil were seized before entering the Kurdish region of Iraq.

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The terrorist group in control of parts of Syria and Iraq is said to be generating about $2 million per day on pilfered oil. The Kurdish Ministry of Natural Resources last week said action must be taken to contain oil's role in IS financing through action by the Kurdish Peshmerga and other forces.

With an international coalition behind the fight, Hawrami said IS, known also as ISIS or ISIL, "will see how we deal with smuggling."

U.S. air strikes last week targeted oil installations in Syria under IS control.

The minister said Monday he was looking for regional support to help contain the threat.

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"Peshmerga and the Iraqi army are ready for it, and Turkey plays a very crucial role for this cooperation," he said.

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