The ongoing ISIS offensive against Iraq has seen them not only seizing key resources like oil fields and hydroelectric dams. The fertile crescent territory they’ve seized has another big asset: wheat.
Reports say ISIS now controls about 30% of Iraq’s overall wheat production, and they have captured major wheat reserves in the area, which threatens to cause food shortages in the areas they aren’t controlling.
ISIS has been milling seized wheat to distribute flour in the cities they currently control, and are said to be smuggling wheat into Iraqi government-held territory to sell it there, raising more money for their already well-funded war.
The Iraqi Trade Ministry claims 1.1 million tons of already harvested wheat are stored in silos in the territory ISIS has taken over, around 20% of annual Iraqi consumption, according to most estimates. Between those reserves and the farmland they now control, ISIS has become a major food producer.