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Report: Islamic State Oil Minister 'Killed' In Syrian Hideout
Islamic State oil minister 'killed' in Syrian hideout: report
By Mark Saunokonoko
A high-ranking Islamic State leader who allegedly masterminded the extremist group's half-billion-dollar oil smuggling enterprise has been killed in a firefight, according to reports.
Thabit Sobhi Fahd Al-Ahmad, a self-styled minister of oil in the now dismantled so-called caliphate, was gunned down in his hideout by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), according to a statement.
The SDF statement said the attack in Deir Al-Zor province, east of Syria, was carried out in cooperation with the US-led Coalition forces.
Ahmad was considered to have a close relationship with the elusive leader of IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who remains at large - despite several reports in the past claiming he had been killed.
The smuggling of black market oil had been a lucrative cornerstone of the IS economy, which helped the group take over vast swathes of Iraq and Syria.
At its height, IS was believed to be making $700 million a year through black market oil sales into Europe, much of it believed to have been trafficked across the borders of a compliant Turkey.