Oil-rich Arab sympathisers funding IS militants: Report
The Sunni jihadi group Islamic State (IS), which controls large territories in Iraq and Syria has been getting financial support from oil-rich Arab sympathisers outside those two countries, a media report said on Sunday.
Rich private donors in the Gulf states have been supporting the IS with funds that help to pay the fighters, who may number well over 100,000, The Independent reported, citing Kurdish officials.
“There is sympathy for the Da’esh (the Arabic acronym for IS) in many Arab countries and this has translated into money - and that is a disaster,” Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of Kurdish president Massoud Barzani said Sunday.
He pointed out that until recently, financial aid was being given openly by the Gulf states to the opposition in Syria, but by now, most of these rebel groups have been absorbed into the IS and the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, and as a result, it is they “who now have the money and the weapons”.
Hussein implied that the Gulf oil states funding the IS were those, which financed the Sunni Arab rebels in Iraq and Syria in the past.
Mahmoud Othman, a veteran member of the Iraqi Kurdish leadership, said the IS receives money from the Arab countries because the latter are afraid of it.
“Gulf countries give money to the Da’esh so that it promises not to carry out operations on their