Islamic State financier escapes Raqqa after robbing major bank

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Militants of the Islamic State checking personal document of Syrian civilians in Jarablus. File photo

ARA News

Qamishli – The Islamic State’s (ISIS) chief financier in Raqqa has deserted the group after robbing a major bank. Local sources told ARA News that the bank heist had occurred on Thursday at a branch office.

Iraqi jihadist Abu Okruma al-Anbari was responsible for managing ISIS’ finances in Raqqa Governorate. On Thursday, he fled the extremist group’s de facto capital in Syria, with his family.

“Al-Anbari robbed the Islamic Bank in Raqqa before escaping,” local media activist Taim Khalil told ARA News. “Sources in the bank confirmed that more than $3,000,000 were missing from the bank after al-Anbari […] fled to an unknown destination.”

Eyewitnesses reported a state of alert among ISIS militants in downtown Raqqa after al-Anbari’s flight. Analysts believe that the daring heist may impair ISIS operations and inadvertently assist their local antagonists, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

“The incident was a new blow to ISIS, as the group already suffers from a financial crisis,” Syrian journalist Anas Halwani told ARA News. “The Syrian Democratic Forces captured the main border crossings on the Syrian-Turkish borderline, such as Manbij and Tel Abyad, preventing the group from selling crude oil on the black market.”

Jihadists have already seen their wages repeatedly cut as the would-be Caliphate struggles to deal with a budget shortfall. Halwani told ARA News that “ISIS may soon be unable to fund its military operations in Raqqa.”

US-backed SDF soldiers have continued to advance against ISIS. Since the launch of the Euphrates Wrath Operation, last Sunday, the pluralist coalition has captured more than 25 kmin northern Raqqa.

Reporting by: Ahmed Shiwesh | Source: ARA News

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