Watchdog: Islamic State puts its own currency into circulation

The Islamic State extremist group has started using a currency of its own for oil trading in eastern Syria, a monitoring group said Saturday.

The jihadist organization has ordered all merchants trading in oil products to use the Golden Dinar, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Observatory said that the jihadist organization, which controls most of eastern Syria and parts of northern and western Iraq, made the dinar available through currency exchange shops.

The dinar, weighing 4.5 grams of gold, was sold to the exchange shops for 190 US dollars, the Britain-based monitoring group said.

The move appeared to be aimed at ensuring Islamic State profited from oil trading and acquired hard currency, Observatory director Rami Abdel-Rahman said.

"Traders were seen heavily buying the gold dinar in order to facilitate oil trade," the Observatory reported.

Islamic State announced in 2014 that it would produce its own currency in the areas of Syria and Iraqi under its control to "emancipate itself from the satanic global economic system."

Videos published by the extremist group at the time appeared to show gold coins in production, but until now there were no reports that the supposed currency was in circulation.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant organization renamed itself Islamic State in June 2014 after capturing swathes of northern and western Iraq in a lightning offensive.

It has recently suffered a series of battlefield reverses at the hands of US-backed Syrian Kurdish and Iraqi forces.

Last update: Sat, 09/07/2016 - 21:18

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