RAQQA, SYRIA – Iraqi civilians continue to pay the ultimate price in the war with, and against, ISIS.
And “staggering” is the word used to describe the situation.
A United Nations report says at least 18,802 Iraqi civilians died in the past two years. The UN also claims ISIS holds an estimated 3,500 Iraqis in slavery and sexual slavery, many of those Yazidi women and girls.
Also, the report says ISIS kidnapped between 800 and 900 children from Mosul for religious and military training.
If there is any bright side to this dark chapter in world history, it may be that Islamic State is facing the same problem legitimate governments face: how to pay its bills.
Western intelligence believes ISIS used to make about $2 million dollars a day from extortion, bank robberies, stolen oil, and people smuggling.
But increased bombing of oil installations cut ISIS cash flow to about a million a week.
And recent air strikes on ISIS banks have sent more than cash into the wind.
U.S. officials think ISIS fighters in Iraq were bringing in about $1,000 a month before last year’s cash crunch cut them to about $250 a month.
And if the story of another 50-percent pay cut is true, then ISIS henchmen are banking about 75 bucks every two weeks.
That’s about 94 cents an hour, figuring a 40-hour terror week.
Why, that’s not even minimum wage.
Maybe they should go on strike.
At least that would be something constructive.