Ari Jalal | Reuters
An Iraqi soldier holds an Islamic State flag during a battle with Islamic State militants, north of Mosul, Iraq.
The Islamic State has lost nearly two-thirds of the land it once controlled, leveling a major blow to several critical funding streams including oil and gas revenue, taxation and extortion.
The organization, which took over vast swaths of Syria and Iraq in 2014, is one of the best-funded terror groups in history, according to an assessment by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance. But a new report from the nonpartisan research institute, based on a review of nearly 200 sources, shows IS fortunes dwindling.
The setbacks come after coalition forces backed by U.S. airstrikes and advisors took back Fallujah, Iraq, and wrested control of much of the IS stronghold in Mosul, also in Iraq. They threaten to force a significant in change how the Islamic State raises funds.
Islamic State territory changes, source: U.S. military
“Going forward, IS is likely to shift its funding composition towards a more ‘traditional’ model of terror financing, relying more on external donors and extortive practices such as kidnapping for ransom,” the report authors concluded.