De to al-Qaida-grupperingene Nusra-fronten og ISIS kontrollerer det meste av olje- og gassforekomstene i nord-Syria og selger olje og gass til Assad-regimet som betaler dem. Det er en merkelig forbindelse.

Regimet ikke bare handler med jihadistene, men unnlater å bombe deres hovedkvarter. Observatører tror Assad ønsker at jihadistene skal vokse seg sterke og svekke sine mer moderate konkurrenter, slik at verden må velge mellom ham og al-Qaida.

Regimet har mistet oljekildene og er nå avhengig av import eller kjøp fra jihadistene. Produksjonen har falt fra 400.000 fat til 80.000 per dag. Mesteparten sies å være stjålet av folk som kun er ute etter å tjene penger.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is even selling fuel to the Assad government, lending weight to allegations by opposition leaders that it is secretly working with Damascus to weaken the other rebel groups and discourage international support for their cause.

Although there is no clear evidence of direct tactical coordination between the group and Mr. Assad, American officials say that his government has facilitated the group’s rise not only by purchasing its oil but by exempting some of its headquarters from the airstrikes that have tormented other rebel groups.

The Nusra Front and other groups are providing fuel to the government, too, in exchange for electricity and relief from airstrikes, according to opposition activists in Syria’s oil regions.

..
As the war has progressed, rebel groups have seized control of the oil and gas fields scattered across the country’s north and east, while Kurdish militias have taken over areas near the border with Iraqi Kurdistan.

Filling the void left by the government’s withdrawal is a Wild West-like patchwork of local efforts to try to wring any possible profit from the remnants of the oil industry. In some areas, locals have used primitive methods to extract usable products from crude they drain from pipelines or storage tanks, often causing environmental and health problems in their communities.

Elaborate trade networks have also evolved, with oil being smuggled across borders in plastic jugs and transported by trucks and on donkeys into Iraq and Turkey.

“The government practically doesn’t control anything anymore,” said Dragan Vuckovic, president of Mediterranean International, an oil service company that operates across the Middle East and North Africa. “The oil is controlled by crooks and extremists. They sell it for a bargain wherever they can find a buyer.”

Oil has proved to be a boon for the extremists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, who have seized control of most of the oil-rich northern province of Raqqa. The group typically sells crude to middlemen who resell it to the government but sometimes sells it directly to the government, said Omar Abu Laila, a spokesman for the rebels’ Supreme Military Council.

As the war has progressed, rebel groups have seized control of the oil and gas fields scattered across the country’s north and east, while Kurdish militias have taken over areas near the border with Iraqi Kurdistan.

Filling the void left by the government’s withdrawal is a Wild West-like patchwork of local efforts to try to wring any possible profit from the remnants of the oil industry. In some areas, locals have used primitive methods to extract usable products from crude they drain from pipelines or storage tanks, often causing environmental and health problems in their communities.

Elaborate trade networks have also evolved, with oil being smuggled across borders in plastic jugs and transported by trucks and on donkeys into Iraq and Turkey.

“The government practically doesn’t control anything anymore,” said Dragan Vuckovic, president of Mediterranean International, an oil service company that operates across the Middle East and North Africa. “The oil is controlled by crooks and extremists. They sell it for a bargain wherever they can find a buyer.”

Oil has proved to be a boon for the extremists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, who have seized control of most of the oil-rich northern province of Raqqa. The group typically sells crude to middlemen who resell it to the government but sometimes sells it directly to the government, said Omar Abu Laila, a spokesman for the rebels’ Supreme Military Council.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/world/middleeast/rebels-in-syria-claim-control-of-resources.html?hp&_r=0