Face to face with ISIS – Oil and prisoners: Episode 4

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ISIS was selling oil to the Syrian regime and Turkey, while the group controlled large areas of Syrian and Iraqi oil fields, a former ISIS fighter told Al Arabiya in an interview.

“I know they sold the oil to other states, like they did sell to the Syrian regime and most likely other groups as well,” said Abu Trab al-Canadi who used to work in the ISIS oil and gas administration, in an interview with Al Arabiya’s senior reporter Rola al-Khatib.

In an interview with another former ISIS fighter named Bin Laden al-Italy, he said that “ISIS sold oil to Turkey, everybody knows that.”

The interviews were conducted in a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) prison, where 1,000 former ISIS fighters are detained, some of whom were arrested, and others who turned themselves in following the last battle of al-Baghouz.

Who was in power? It seems like there was a rivalry between Iraqis and the foreign fighters.

While the SDF investigations say that ISIS “emirs” and leaders were mostly immigrants, foreign ISIS members repeatedly said in interviews that they were at the bottom of the ISIS hierarchy and that the people in charge were Iraqis “who knew each other previously.”


During its rule of terror, ISIS commonly captured civilians, including foreign journalists and priests. Some have been confirmed dead, a few were eventually released, but the fate of most of them remains unknown.

The SDF investigations say that all the information lies in the hands of an ISIS prisons official, who is still anonymous.