Forget Bombs: ISIS Has a Plan to Starve 500 Million

Written By Outsider Club

Posted September 29, 2015

ISIS isn’t fighting a conventional war. They don’t have an air force, a navy, or tanks, or missiles.

What they have in spades, however, is an approach that is at once ruthless and relentless. The end-goal of a new and powerful Islamic caliphate, strict religious orthodoxy, and glory for the prophet Muhammad are just the beginning.

The Islamic State rejects peace as a matter of principle, and has made genocide part and parcel to its political practice.

Jürgen Todenhöfer, a journalist who spent 10 days embedded with the group in Iraq and Syria has warned that the West has “no concept of the threat it faces.”

“The IS want to kill… all non-believers and apostates and enslave their women and children,” he says. “All Shiites, Yazidi, Hindus, atheists and polytheists should be killed. I’m talking about the strategy of religious cleansing. That’s their official philosophy. They are talking about 500 million people who have to die… Hundreds of millions of people are to be eliminated in the course of this religious ‘cleansing’.”

Like many Christian fundamentalists, they believe the end of the world – “The End Times” – to be imminent. And they take their role in that context very seriously. Like those that fear the arrival of an antichrist, ISIS is preparing for the antimessiah’s final showdown in Jerusalem.

As far as ISIS is concerned, this is the last great battle before the world quite literally comes to an end.

This is a zero-sum game for them.

That is why grizzly torture videos, gruesome beheadings, mutilations, and death by any other means is not just acceptable but integral.

Starvation, for instance.

Along with oilfields, much of the land ISIS has seized is farmland. The group has seized 40% of Iraq’s wheat – over a million tons. They’ve looted government grain silos and stolen massive amounts of crops.

Hassan Nusayif al-Tamimi, the head of an independent union of farmers cooperatives in Iraq, told Reuters: “They are destroying crops and produce, and this is creating friction with the farmers.

They are placing farmers under a lot of pressure so that they can take their grain.”

Fadel El-Zubi, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization representative in Iraq, warned: “Now is the worst time for food insecurity since the sanctions (under Saddam Hussein) and things are getting worse.”

But that’s not all.

The Islamic State has also taken control of the country’s largest dam and multiple phosphate mines in the region.

Phosphate, of course, is a key component of fertilizer. And Syria has some of the largest reserves in the world. In normal times they produced about $60 million in revenue a year.

The Khnaifess mines, which sit along the main highway between Damascus and Palmyra, are the second-largest in the country, and they’ve fallen under IS control. In 2011, the mines were responsible for about 1.6% of the world’s supply of phosphate rock and ranked ninth in the world in terms of production volume.

The point is, ISIS may not be able to bomb foreign countries, but it can do a tremendous amount of damage by taking control agricultural resources and infrastructure.

This is clearly evidenced by the massive refugee crisis we’re seeing in Europe. These refugees from Iraq and Syria are fleeing because they are starving. Hunger and malnutrition are rampant in refugee camps.

Recent undercover footage from ISIL’s adopted capital of Raqqa in Syria showed hundreds of young boys and women waiting in line for food and water.

ISIS Food Line

Similarly, Amnesty International detailed the suffering in Yarmouk, a city besieged by ISIS last year: “For months residents survived scouring the area for anything that might be edible, including cactus leaves, dandelion leaves and other plants. Hunger has driven many to expose themselves to government snipers while searching for food.”

Sadly, the crisis is showing no signs of improvement. ISIS continues to tighten its grip and Syria and Iraq are no closer to stability.

This international crisis grows more devastating by the day.