The Russian Defense Ministry has made the claim that Turkey’s leadership is involved in illegal oil trade with the extremist group ISIS.
The significant claim was made by Anatoly Antonov, Deputy Defense Minister of Russia. The claim includes Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family who are allegedly in cohorts with the extremist militant group, reports RT.
Anatov also added that Turkey is the final stop for the oil controlled and smuggled by ISIS from Syria and Iraq. The Deputy Defense Minister also stated that Russia is aware of three major oil smuggling routes, all of which have Turkey as their final destination.
“Today, we are presenting only some of the facts that confirm that a whole team of bandits and Turkish elites (the leadership) stealing oil from their neighbors are operating in the region,” Anatov stated.
In no uncertain terms, he added:
According to our data, the top political leadership of the country – President Erdoğan and his family – is involved in this criminal business.
The Diplomatic Tussle between Turkey and Russia
The diplomatic tensions between Turkey and Russia took a turn for the worse when Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet near its border on November 24. On Monday, Russian President Vladmir Putin stated Turkey shot down the plane to protect the secretive oil trade it had with ISIS. He even stated that the downed plane was mandated to attack ISIS targets in Syria, as reported by CNN.
In light of the claim, President Erdoğan of Turkey stated that he will resign if Russia can prove its claim, by stating the following to a group of reporters at the recent climate change summit in Paris:
As soon as such a claim is proved, the nobility of our nation requires (me) to do this.
Anatov’s accusation comes soon after Putin’s own claim that Turkey is cooperating with ISIS. As reported by TASS, a Russian news agency, he Putin stated:
We have recently received additional reports that confirm that oil from ISIL (ISIS) – controlled territories is delivered to the territory of Turkey on an industrial scale.
We have all grounds to suspect that the decision to down our plane was motivated by the intention to secure these routes of delivering oil to ports where it is loaded on tankers.
Russia began its bombing of ISIS-controlled oil routes and transport on September 30 in Syria, an operation that has made a significant dent in ISIS’ operations, contends Russian Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoy.
“The income of this terrorist organization was about $3 million per day. After two months of Russian airstrikes, their income was about $1.5 million a day,” Rudskoy said.
Featured image from Shutterstock.