Damage at an oil refinery that was targeted by what activists said were U.S. strikes near the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, October 2, 2014.
Courtesy Reuters

A key element of U.S. President Barack Obama’s strategy against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has been striking at the oil fields seized by the group to undermine its finances. But ISIS is a diversified criminal business, and oil is only one of its several revenue streams. U.S. officials ignore that fact at their own peril.    

It is true that oil is ISIS’ key source of funding right now. The terrorist group has become the world’s richest precisely because it has seized some of the world’s most profitable oil fields in Iraq

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