Germany has accused the Bashar al Assad regime in Syria of purchasing oil from the DAESH terrorist group which has seized swathes of land across the country, as well as in neighbouring Iraq.
Speaking at a news conference in Berlin on Tuesday, German Foreign Ministry deputy spokeswoman Sawsan Chebli said that there was evidence that oil transactions between the Assad regime and the Al Qaeda offshoot had taken place.
"The Assad regime has received large amounts of oil from [DAESH]. We have evidence; we have indications showing that this is the case," Chebli was quoted saying by Anadolu Agency.
Chebli also denied Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims that Turkey was smuggling oil out of DAESH-controlled territories, saying there was no evidence to support such suggestions.
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert also denied the claims.
"We do not see such accusations without any evidence as helpful. We believe that the international community should focus strengthening the fight against [DAESH], and refrain from everything that can strengthen [DAESH]," Seibert said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected Putin’s accusations on the sidelines of a climate summit in Paris on Monday, saying Russia is “disrespecting” Turkey through such baseless accusations.
Erdogan added that it is actually Russia’s ally - the Assad regime - buying oil from DAESH.
Having snubbed Erdogan’s request for a meeting at the summit, Putin reiterated the accusations, saying “At the moment we have received additional information confirming that oil from the deposits controlled by [DAESH] militants enters Turkish territory on industrial scale.”
“We have every reason to believe that the decision to down our plane was guided by a desire to ensure security of this oil’s delivery routes to ports where they are shipped in tankers,” Putin said on the sidelines.
Meanwhile, Erdogan said he would resign if accusations that oil produced in DAESH-held territories were being channelled to Turkey were proven to be true.
“We are not that dishonest as to buy oil from terrorists. If it is proven that we have, in fact, done so, I will leave office. If there is any evidence, let them present it, we’ll consider [it],” he said.