Iraq’s Agricultural Minister Falah Hassan al-Zeidan has issued a statement claiming that ISIS has “stolen” over one million tonnes of wheat and barley stored in ISIS-controlled territory in Nineveh Province, and smuggled it into Syria.
The territory in northwestern Iraq that ISIS has taken over is one of the most important breadbaskets of the nation, and ISIS is believed to hold a third of the nation’s wheat production areas, and nearly 40% of the barley crop.
ISIS seized a lot of important wheat fields during its summer offensive, and a lot of the grain silos for wheat already harvested. This has led to fears of rising food prices in Iraqi government territory.
Though ISIS-held territory in Syria also includes some grain producing areas, they are not as large as those in Iraq, and with US airstrikes destroying a lot of grain inside Syria, it is unsurprising to hear that ISIS is trying to transfer food to its major cities in Syria to keep the price of food down there.