The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is currently storming its way through Iraq, was funded for years by rich donors from our supposed allies in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
According to The Daily Beast, Kuwait’s involvement is an ironic twist since back in 1990, the U.S. attacked Iraq in order to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein’s clutches. Now Kuwait is helping the rise of his successors.
As ISIS takes over town after town in Iraq, they are acquiring money and supplies including American-made vehicles, arms and ammunition. The group reportedly scored $430 million when they looted the main bank in Mosul.
“Everybody knows the money is going through Kuwait and that it’s coming from the Arab Gulf,” said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “Kuwait’s banking system and its money changers have long been a huge problem because they are a major conduit for money to extremist groups in Syria and now Iraq.”
Donors in Kuwait, the Sunni majority Kingdom on Iraq’s border, have taken advantage of Kuwait’s weak financial rules to channel hundreds of millions of dollars to a host of Syrian rebel brigades, according to a December 2013 report by The Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank that receives some funding from the Qatari government.
ISIS formed in April 2013 out of al-Qaeda in Iraq and an affiliate in Syria.
According to the Telegraph, ISIS has gained most of its financing from smuggling, extortion and other crime.
There is an apparent paradigm shift occurring in the U.S. regarding its foreign policy.
Congressman Mick Mulvaney made this statement on Facebook: “As I said in the Facebook town hall meeting Monday night, my immediate reaction is that getting involved in what is essentially a religious civil war (Shia v. Sunni) sounds like a really bad idea.”
Senator Rand Paul in his recent op-ed said, “Today the Middle East is less stable than in 2003. The Iraq war strengthened Iran’s influence in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. Sunni extremists backed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have filled the vacuum. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken over the cities of Mosul, Tikrit and is on the march to Baghdad.”
“This administration, through bad decision-making that I specifically warned against, has already indirectly aided al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria—the very group some now propose to counter with U.S. troops,” he added.
Paul continued, “For the small group calling for boots on the ground—how can we ask our brave men and women to risk their lives for a country the Iraqis aren’t willing to fight for themselves? Iraqi soldiers are stripping off their uniforms and fleeing this fight. We shouldn’t ask our soldiers to put their uniforms on to take their places.”