Who benefits from ISIL? And what will happen to it?

Nijat Hajiyev

Journalist, Azerbaijan


June 29, 2014, a group in Syria proclaimed itself The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (abbreviated as ISIL). In a short time, this terrorist formation captured more than half of Syria, and almost all of Northern Iraq, together with the second-largest city – Mosul. By the way, about Mosul it is worth saying that the capture of the city was of particular importance, because this city produces oil, and there are oil refining factories.

In all the occupied territories, ISIL brutally dealt with the local population, and most interestingly, they filmed all that and then put all the footage online. The credibility of those videos is anyone’s guess, but the fact that most of the world believed in those images remains indisputable.

However, if we analyze how ISIL has been created and the fact that the territories that they control have quite a lot of oil, all these raise a few questions.

Today almost the whole world has officially turned against ISIL: Assad’s army, together with Iran and Hezbollah, the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS), a coalition of about 50 countries led by the US, Turkey, Israel, and despite all that, these forces cannot defeat the Islamic State. It’s strange, isn’t it?

In that case, it is clear that there is no real war with the IS, but there is only an imitation of war against them. Accordingly, it is not difficult to understand that actually ISIL is more a business project, from which all benefit, rather than cannot defeat it. But the question of who benefits from it remains open.


The one who would primarily benefit from the creation of such a despotic organization that has no values is Bashar Assad himself.  Compared with those ISIL videos and what they did in the occupied territories, dictator Bashar al-Assad with his Alawites can seem like quite sane liberal-democratic president, even for the West (that is radically opposed to Assad). And that’s why no country or adequate person in the world will say that it is better if the IS leadership come to power in Syria, rather than Assad will remain.

On the other hand, the Sunnis themselves, seeing what their “brothers” in IS are doing, realized that they are not safe either, and that’s why part of the Sunnis joined the army of Assad to fight with IS. But no, Bashar al-Assad does not intend to fight against ISIL at this stage, because they do him more good than harm.


The existence of the Islamic State gave Bashar al-Assad a legitimate right to ask Russia for help in the fight against international terrorism. That IS factor played a key role and gave the Russian Federation the international right to enter Syria and fight there. Personally for Russia, this outcome is pretty acceptable, since even such a small victory of the Russian VKS in Syria, on the one hand, strengthens the position of the Kremlin in the international arena. And on the other hand, Syrian conflict becomes Russia’s next subject of bargaining with the West on various issues.

And if it turns out by the outcome of the war that it is Russia who defeated ISIL in Syria, and not the US or any other state, then Moscow will hit hard on the US reputation as a world leader.

In addition, after the beginning of the Russian operation in Syria and showcasing their new weapons, Russian military industrial complex has received quite a lot of orders. Accordingly, in the conditions of crisis and sanctions, the effect of weapon advertisement on the battle-fields of Syria has paid off.


Despite the fact that ISIL is a Salafi organization, and according to their ideology, they are feuding with Shiites, the creation of this organization has played into the hands of Shiite Iran.

Even before the start of the Syrian conflict, Iran had an ally in the region represented by the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah, which was aimed against Israel, and also was a conduit of Iranian policy in the region. But, despite this, the Iranians could not even dream of one day having ten thousand strong army right on the border of Israel.

On the other hand, the current situation in Syria developed in such a way, that no matter how many discussions Kerry and Lavrov have, without the presence of the representatives of Tehran at the negotiating table the parties do not come to concrete decision.  Speaking of Iran, it is also worth noting that it were the actions of this country that kept Bashar Assad’s regime afloat for over 4 years, even before the arrival of Russian aviation.


Between Syria and Turkey, there is a 911 kilometer long border. To believe that Ankara is not involved in the creation of ISIL would be naive. Most jihadists were passing namely through the Syrian-Turkish border. Also, according to some sources, in order to get wound treatment and many other things, ISIL members were sent to Turkey, with ready camps waiting for them.

We have already noted that ISIL took over large deposits of oil and gas in Syria and Iraq, but didn’t mention the ways in which it was realized. ISIL was selling that oil to Turkey for almost nothing, which in its turn was either using these resources for its own needs or was reselling the cheapest oil in the world.

On the other hand, under the pressure of the Islamic State, the largest number of Syrian refugees has crossed into Turkey, and whom Erdogan used as a tool of political pressure against the EU as a result. Angela Merkel and her friend from France, François Hollande, even today are willing to do whatever it takes to make Turkey return back those Syrian refugees that the EU simply cannot handle. In addition to refugees’ pressure on the EU, in this way Turkey has got its share of influence on Syria’s future.

And finally, it is worth noting that the existence of such an organization as ISIL at its border offers Turkey many advantages. For instance, through ISIL they can destroy their Kurdish enemies, as well as send troops into northern Syria in the name of “fighting ISIL”.

The US and its allies

If you pay attention to ISIL weapons, you can understand that the US and its allies have played an important role in the creation of this organization. For western countries it is just a matter of business. Moreover, western producers were paid for weapons by their own allies represented by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The US, France, Germany, and Great Britain earned a lot from Saudi and Qatari money, which were going to ISIL. As for the latter, they provided the Islamic State with both financial and ideological support, which was directed primarily against Shiite governments of Syria and Iraq, and eventually Iran.

It is also worth noting that the ISIL’s oil helped US brokers to lower oil prices, since the oil of the Islamic State was sold for nothing on the market, so that Washington too made quite a lot of money from the oil sold by ISIL.


Destabilization of the situation in Syria has played a dual role for Israel. On the one hand, it resulted in having Iranian troops right on the border. On the other hand, for official Tel-Aviv, there is no use of strong Syria, headed by a strong leader Bashar al-Assad. Strong Syria, which demands from Israel the Golan Heights and justice to the Palestinian people – is a threat to Israel. By the way, it is worth noting that in the pre-war Syria, there were about a million Palestinian refugees, who were formed into different organizations of the Palestinian people’s resistance.

Now, at a time when Syria exists only nominally, the Golan Heights is the last thing Assad cares about, Israeli security services are working well to eliminate the Iranian officers, Israeli Air Force bombs almost everyone in this area, including ISIL, Assad’s troops and everyone else who is fighting there.


Now, a project called “ISIL” is gradually shutting down and this will take some time. This is evidenced by the fact that the second capital of ISIL – the city of Mosul, is already being freed from the terrorists and the liberation of the city involves all interested parties: the Iraqi army, the Kurds, Turkomans, US Air Force, the Iranian Shiite divisions and everyone else who wants to share the victory in the battle with a predetermined outcome.

Apparently, ISIL’s mission in Syria and in Iraq is coming to an end. Now, the majority of jihadists in Mosul, who are under the cover of the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, will be transferred to Syria, and from there, to a new hotbed of confrontation, the location of which we can only guess, Egypt, Central Asia or the Caucasus.

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