The International Energy Agency said in a report this month that output in Islamic State-controlled areas had fallen to less than 10,000 bpd as a result of the air strikes.
Local prices of petroleum products however suggest that the strikes have not had a large impact on the supply of illicit oil. A barrel of Islamic State oil sells for around $20, whereas early in 2014 it was selling for $35.
Traders say this is because there were ample stockpiles built up before the strikes and because Islamic State ramped up its production in recent weeks.
PRIVATE CONVOYS ON THE ROAD
Local businessmen have continued to send convoys of up to thirty trucks carrying oil from Islamic State-run wells through insurgent-held parts of Syria during broad daylight without being targeted by the air strikes. The militant group has allowed convoys to pass more quickly through its checkpoints.
It has encouraged customers to load up more than before and has offered discounts and deferred payments to shift more oil, two oil truck drivers and a local trader said.
The group's "oil department" has also told traders in the last two weeks they could load as much as they can and urged them to build stockpiles, something traders say suggests Islamic State thinks the oil wells could still be hit.
Others say that the threat of strikes has even pushed the militant Sunni Muslim group to use its oil wealth more effectively to shore up its local tribal support base.
The group is using its control of oil to strengthen ties with local tribes, rather than just hoarding profits as before, according to residents living in Islamic State-run areas.
It is now allowing some Bedouin tribes in the Deir al-Zor province to tap wells it controls, such as the Bar al Milh, al Kharata, Amra, Okash, Wadi Jureib, Safeeh, Fahda and many other medium and small disused wells in the Jebel Bushra area.
At least nine major tribes have benefited, including ones whose kin spread over the border into Iraq such as the influential Jabour tribe. The groups have largely been supportive of Islamic State.
Traders lured by high profits have continued to build stockpiles and to sell across Syria, even smuggling some into government-held areas.
"The American planes are above us day and night but we no longer care. They cannot be worse than Bashar's barrel bombs," said oil trader Ibrahim Fathallah, who sells low quality products to towns across the rebel-held northwestern Syria.
"We are the ones on the ground and know how to move across our land. They won't stop us for going on to earn a living for our families unless they bomb the hell out of us," he said.
A large trailer carrying 30,000 liters of Islamic State-supplied crude can make $4,000 profit in just one journey lasting a few days, traders say.
Traders say they can double returns by squeezing at least 20 barrels, worth around $400, on the back of a Kia pickup.
"Bombing or no bombing.. we will go there even if there is death because it brings a lot of revenue," said contractor Abdullah Sheikh who has used profits from his fleet of seven trailers to build mobile refineries in the northern town of Manbij.
While some local businessmen have made large profits from the illicit oil trade, many other civilians have come to depend on the informal market which sprung up since the start of Syria's conflict more than three years ago.
It has been a major source of income for hundreds of thousands of families in rural areas of north and eastern Syria, where people have been displaced or lost jobs.
"The Americans know that these wells have opened an opportunity for many Syrians to benefit who have no links to militants," a Western diplomat familiar with U.S. strategy against Islamic State said.
The U.S-led strikes have knocked out dozens of privately-owned makeshift refineries that had mostly sprung up around Islamic State-controlled land along the border with Turkey. They were used as a hub for smuggling although traders say Turkey has clamped down on smugglers this year.
The plants were constructed by private businesses at a cost of $150,000 to $250,000 and processed 150-300 bpd of Islamic State-supplied crude oil.
Traders say the bombing of these larger refineries may have reduced processing capacity by 20-30 percent but was not having any major impact on the domestic fuel market so far.
Hundreds of smaller scale refineries are spread across swathes of insurgent-held land, making it difficult to hit them. They continue to refine the bulk of crude extracted, according to experts and traders.
The refineries included the one run by trader Mazen Mukhtar, who said his was destroyed by a U.S. Tomahawk missile this week in a direct hit, turning his family's life savings into a heap of mangled metal and burnt crude oil.
The mini refinery, that used primitive distillation and heating methods, cost him around $20,000 to build in a waste plot several kilometers away from his home. The Islamic State-run oil wells that supply it have been untouched.
"Why are they destroying our livelihood...do they want to throw our children to the street to start begging?" the 48-year-old said.
"Those who buy this fuel are only the poor who use it to make bread and cook their daily meals to feed their families. Why don't they go after the real terrorist Assad and his gang."
(Editing by Sylvia Westall and Anna Willard)Link:
Read More :
1- Here's How ISIS Uses Oil To Fuel Its Advances
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-how-islamic-
In an oil field in northeastern Syria, trucks line up daily to load crude sold cheaply by Islamic State militants who have hijacked parts of the country's energy industry in their bid to build a caliphate.
Sales at Shadada field, described by an oil trader, are just one example of how the group, which has seized land in war-torn Syria and neighboring Iraq, is creating its own economy through a series of pragmatic trades.
It is cutting deals with local traders and buyers, even businessmen who support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and some of its oil has made its way back to government buyers through a series of middlemen.
"Islamic State makes not less than $2 million daily that allows them to pay salaries and maintain their operations," said a former Western oil executive who worked in a foreign oil firm operating in Syria before the crisis and who is familiar with the nascent oil market.
The United States, which has been bombing Islamic State positions in Iraq, has said it is prepared to extend the campaign into Syria, which has been racked by civil war for more than three years, and has said it will train more than 5,000 Syrian rebel fighters to counter the advancing group.
But oil sales mean Islamic State, an al Qaeda splinter group, can rely less on foreign donations and attract more recruits and supporters with its newfound wealth, something that is likely to make the group harder to stamp out in Syria.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-how-islamic-state-uses-syrias-oil-to-fuel-its-advances-2014-9#ixzz3JrFHO69j
There are different opinions on the early release of Hossein Derakhshan in the internet/ cyber space . For example the website known as " Digarban " wrote:
" There are views about his early release from prison ,because of his collaboration with security forces and judiciary system against those who were arrested during green movement uprising . Also his early release coincide with the newly appointed head of " Seda va Sima " the Regime Radio and TV station boss Mr. Mohammad Sarfaraz who was acting before in Qods forces and he is the founder of Press TV . Since Press TV in the past was inviting Derakhshan to work for this news service , it is possible he was released early because of Mr. Sarfaraz request from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei . So his release could be called as a starting point ( IRAN WATCH CANADA : Green Light ) for him to work with Press TV.
And while it is an indication that he was in prison but in fact was active in different social activities such as teaching classes for a period of five months about reviewing the Israeli films in an organization called " Tarjomaan" , also his continues presence on internet ,which brings a lot of question about him being in prison . "
19 political prisoners from the Zahedan central prison in a letter requested from the international human rights organizations to send human rights investigators to the Zahedan central prison in the province of Sistan & Bluchestan . In their letter they said, their condition in the prison is very bad and they also requested from UN general secretary to take action in to their situation.
The letter addressed to :
UN Commissioner of Human Rights
UN General Secretary
UN Human Rights Reporter His excellency Ahmed Shaheed
Here are the names of Prisoners :
1-Mohammad Amin Agoshi
2-Sheikh Mohammad Bluchzehi
6-Malek Mohammad Abadian
10-Khatib Mohammad Naghshbandi
13-Gol Mohammad Balil Ily
15-Jon Mohammad Bari
16- Gholam Mohammad Baluch
18-Lal Mohammad Shahri
19-Doost Mohammad Nouri
Hossein Derakhshan is one of the first Iranian blogger in Iran . He left Iran for Canada on 1999 after finishing his studies in Social Science. After spending some time in Canada he then left Canada on 2006 to London to continue his education in Media studies . Because of his activities in creating blogs and blogging and two weeks after return to Iran on 2010 he was arrested and detained , he was first sentenced to 19 and a half years imprisonment , he spend 6 years in prison and the rest of his sentence was pardoned by Khamenei the leader of the Islamic regime .
Hossein Derakhshan is a controversial blogger because before returning to Iran he attacked human rights advocates and journalists .
News about his release came today which shows Hossein Derakhshan as saying :
" I'm freed , After six years, Thanks God, thanks to his excellency Ayatollah Khamenei and thanks to those who have prayed for me those hard days."
For Immediate Release
Iran: Ruling on Official Linked to Protester Deaths
Former Judiciary Figure Barred from Government Posts
(New York, November 19, 2014) – A Supreme Court ruling barring from government positions a former judiciary figure linked to protester deaths after the disputed 2009 presidential election is a step toward justice, but far from adequate, Human Rights Watch said today. In 2010 a parliamentary committee had found Mortazavi responsible for the deaths of three persons due to his ordering their transfer to the Kahrizak detention facility, where torture was reportedly rife.
The official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on November 15, 2014, that the court had confirmed a Tehran criminal court’s decision to ban the former Tehran prosecutor and judge, Saeed Mortazavi, from ever again holding judicial office and from occupying a government post for five years. He was barred from the positions because of his alleged involvement in 2009 in the “unlawful detention” of protesters, several of whom died. Iran’s Tasnim News Agency reported on November 16 that Mortazavi plans to challenge the Supreme Court ruling, claiming that it was issued unlawfully.
“The Supreme Court’s ruling against Mortazavi is a belated recognition that high-ranking officials implicated in abuses against detainees should be held accountable,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “But it is not enough just to bar him from office, or to let officials involved in ordering the unlawful detention of protesters, which led to their injury and death, to go scot free.”
The detentions Mortazavi ordered allegedly resulted in the deaths of Amir Javadifar, Mohammad Kamrani, and Mohsen Ruholamini. Mortazavi and other judiciary authorities have denied that the detainees’ deaths were linked to injuries at Kahrizak, which was closed in late 2009 by order of Iran’s supreme leader. After its closure, the authorities prosecuted and convicted a number of mostly low-ranking officials for abuses at Kahrizak, but no high-ranking security or judiciary officials have been convicted and jailed in connection with the torture and deaths of detainees at Kahrizak.
In July 2009, Iran’s parliament set up a Special Parliamentary Committee to Investigate the Status of Post-Election Arrestees to examine allegations of torture and other abuse of detainees arrested as part of the post-election crackdown. The panel’s report, in January 2010, said that Mortazavi claimed that he ordered detainees sent to Kahrizak because of a lack of capacity at Tehran’s main Evin prison. But Evin prison authorities denied that and said they had been ready to accept the detainees.
The panel concluded that Mortazavi’s decision to transfer protesters to Kahrizak was “not justifiable even if Evin did not have the capacity” to take them, and ruled that Mortazavi was responsible for the deaths of Javadifar, Kamrani, and Ruholamini. The inquiry also named Ali Akbar Heidarifard and Hasan Haddad Dehnavi, two of Mortazavi’s deputies, as suspects in the case.
In December 2009, a military court tried 11 police officers and a private citizen who allegedly collaborated with the police on murder charges arising from the deaths of detainees at Kahrizak. On June 30, 2010, Iranian media reported that the court had convicted all but one of the defendants, sentencing two to death as well as fines, lashings, and compensation payments to the victims’ families. Nine others were sentenced to undisclosed prison terms and fines. The court acquitted the highest-ranking defendant, General Azizollah Rajabzadeh, Tehran’s police chief at the time of the 2009 crackdown, of all charges.
The military court conducted the trial behind closed doors and failed to investigate senior police and judiciary officials such as Mortazavi, Dehnavi and Heidarifard, and Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam and Ahmad-Reza Radan, respectively commander and deputy commander of the Law Enforcement Forces, which operated the Kahrizak facility at the time of the detainees’ deaths.
Soon after the military court’s ruling, family members of the detainees who died at Kahrizak declared that they had forgiven the two officers the court sentenced to death so that the families could “witness the punishment of the real perpetrators.” The families have since pursued their case against Mortazavi, Dehnavi, and Heidarifard, whom they hold responsible.
Mortazavi and his two former deputies all lost their positions in the judiciary – and thus their immunity against prosecution – in 2010 as a result of the investigations into their involvement in the deaths at Kahrizak. Despite the evidence linking Mortazavi to serious rights abuses, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appointed Mortazavi to cabinet posts, first as head of Iran’s Task Force Against Smuggling and later as head of the Social Security Organization.
Human Rights Watch has repeatedly called on the Iranian authorities to publicly disclose the number and status of official criminal investigations into the role of Mortazavi and other high-ranking officials for the abuses perpetrated at Kahrizak, and to investigate and prosecute Mortazavi for his alleged involvement in other serious rights abuses.
“If the Iranian authorities have evidence that senior figures were responsible for torture or deaths in custody, they need to do more than reduce their job opportunities,” Whitson said. “They need to show that officials responsible for such crimes can be brought to justice if they are to demonstrate that Iran is on the path to real rights reform, let alone convince the victims’ families that justice has been served.”
For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Iran, please visit:
For more information, please contact:
In New York, Faraz Sanei (English, Persian): +1-310-428-0153 (mobile); or +1-212-216-1290; or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @farazsanei
In New York, Sarah Leah Whitson (English): +1-718-362-0172 (mobile); or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @sarah
More Recent Articles