ISIS-linked militants are threatening huge natural gas reserves the world needs badly right now, the largest in decades, officials said Friday.
The Islamic State group and the Nusra Front, which is said to be tied to them, have issued a letter to leaders of some of the world’s strongest economies, urging them to pressure their governments to shut down the region’s natural-gas infrastructure, diplomats said.
The activists say more than one-third of Syria’s major natural gas resources lie under ISIS-linked militants’ control, from oil fields in Turkey and Iraq to shale gas reserves in Syria and Lebanon.
They also contend that some government officials have been providing financial support and other assistance to their militants in Syria, according to a letter obtained by The New York Times.
‘They are now threatening to strike against us,’ said Col. John Thomas, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, telling The Associated Press.
The letter, dated April 6, the day after a chemical attack that killed more than 1,400 people in Syria’s Ghouta area, has been sent to countries including Iran, Russia and Turkey.
It asks the countries to impose economic penalties on governments and companies they accuse of supporting the militants.
“The global economic system cannot allow a region like this to continue to exist and thrive against the will of its people,” reads the letter, according to The Times.
‘They are now threatening to strike against us.’
Col. John Thomas, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, tells The Associated Press about the letter.
U.S.-backed Syrian fighters in Deir ez-Zor, eastern Syria, on March 7, 2015.
The militants in the letter accuse unnamed energy companies in Europe, Africa and South America of having provided financing for the group, which controls a swath of northern Syria and parts of neighboring Iraq and Iraq’s Anbar province.
“We warn not to listen to those who say we are in conflict. We are not in conflict; we are fighting against you for the liberation of