Millions in US, EU Aid to Syria Flow Through ISIS Regions

Primary Humanitarian Aid Channel Starts in Turkey, Goes Through Raqqa

Many millions of dollars in humanitarian aid poured into Syria by the US and various European Union nations have been coming almost entirely through a single route: starting in the Turkish border crossing of Kilis.

From there, the aid is spread throughout much of rebel-held Syria, but the lion’s share goes straight through Raqqa, the de facto capital city of the ISIS state, dubbed The Islamic State (TIS).

It’s working great for ISIS, which aid groups say has let them operate virtually entirely without hassle. Indeed, some report that ISIS has been using its bankroll of money, much of it seized in Mosul, to attract doctors to Raqqa and the surrounding area to work in concert with the Western aid flow.

Civilians in TIS need aid as much as people anywhere else, and aid groups say that’s not a concern. What may be, however, is that ISIS has been funneling aid supplies into newly conquered cities like Mosul, and using that Western-supplied aid to build their credibility in their new realm.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.