Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami said Washington has supported the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group, but has now been forced to confront it due to the terrorist group’s security threats to the US.
“Now you see that a self-created phenomenon; namely the ISIL, has turned into a cancerous tumor for the Americans,” Salami said on Wednesday.
He noted that ISIL is now threatening the US national security, adding, “One day, they (the Americans) supported the ISIL (in its war) against Syria, and now, they are forced to confront the ISIL due to their erroneous strategy.”
The general said the US government turned its focus on Iraq after failing to realize its objectives in Syria by arming Takfiri militants.
In a letter Tuesday to US Secretary of State John Kerry, Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) characterized ISIL as the “best funded terrorist group” which has the “resources, weaponry, and operational safe havens to continue to threaten the stability of the region and US national security interests,” The Hill reported.
“ISIL’s criminal activities — robbery, extortion, and trafficking — have helped the organization become the best funded terrorist group in history,” the senators wrote in the letter.
“ISIL was using black markets, smuggling routes and third party groups to sell oil to finance their terrorist activities. ISIL could be earning up to $2 million a day through the illicit sale of oil from reserves captured in Iraq and Syria,” the senators said.
“This wealth has helped expand their operational capacity and incentivized both local and foreign fighters to join them,” they added.
Rubio and Casey asked the State Department to designate ISIL as a “Transnational Criminal Organization,” saying that designation would serve as a warning to countries and third parties who are buying oil from the terrorist group on the black market.
“We urge you to make the halting of these private financial flows a greater priority and to make clear to countries in the region that continued financial support of ISIL could lead to imposition of financial penalties on their citizens and financial institutions by the US Government,” they wrote.