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Oil middleman between Syria and Isil is new target for EU sanctions
Published in Albawaba on 08 - 03 - 2015

Syria's regime is not only buying oil from Isil, but helping to operate the terrorist movement's oil and gas facilities.
A Syrian businessman described as the "middleman" for oil deals between Isil and Bashar al-Assad's regime will be targeted for European Union sanctions on Saturday.
The listing of George Haswani, the owner of HESCO engineering company, sheds more light on financial links between Syria's regime and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
In public, the two belligerents claim to be sworn enemies. Isil has vowed to topple Mr Assad and transform Syria into an Islamic "Caliphate". But the rise of the jihadist movement has served Mr Assad's interests by allowing him to pose as an essential bulwark against Islamist terrorism.
Isil fighters captured the oilfields of eastern Syria in 2013. Since then, the regime is believed to have funded the jihadists by purchasing oil from Isil. But those links are understood to extend further than was previously thought. Instead of merely being a customer for Isil's oil, the regime is understood to be running some oil and gas installations jointly with the terrorist movement.
Mr Haswani's company, HESCO, operates a gas plant in Tabqa, a town in central Syria which was captured by Isil last August. Officials believe this installation is being run jointly by Isil and personnel from the regime. The gas facility continues to supply areas of Syria controlled by Mr Assad.


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