Russian officials presented materials on Wednesday that they said proved Turkey’s leadership is “involved in illegal oil trade with ISIS.”
The Russian Defense Ministry presented materials in a Moscow briefing on Wednesday that officials said proved Turkey has been importing oil from the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Turkey of shooting down one of Russia’s warplanes to protect the transfer of black market Syrian oil from ISIS through Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would resign if Putin could prove the allegation.
At the briefing in Moscow, Russian Defense Ministry officials charged Turkey’s leadership, including Erdogan and his family, with being “involved in illegal oil trade with [ISIS]… Turkey is the final destination for oil smuggled from Syria and Iraq,” said Deputy Defense Ministery Anatoly Antonov.
“Today, we are presenting only some of the facts that confirm that a whole team of bandits and Turkish elites stealing oil from their neighbors is operating in the region,” Antonov said. He added that the oil “in large quantities” enters Turkish territory in “live oil pipelines” via thousands of oil trucks.
“According to our data, the top political leadership of the country – President Erdogan and his family – is involved in this criminal business,” he added.
Lt.-Gen. Sergey Rudskoy, also at the briefing, said that Russian air strikes that began on September 30 had significantly reduced the oil income of the terror organization.
“The income [of Da’esh] was about $3 million per day,” he said. “After two months of Russian air strikes their income was about $1.5 million a day.”
The officials presented photos of oil trucks, videos of air strikes on ISIS oil storage facilities and maps showing the routes of oil deliveries and promised more evidence to be posted on the ministry’s website in the coming days.Hana Levi Julian