Russia claims DAESH smuggling oil through PYD held areas

Russian Defence Ministry publishes maps, satellite images allegedly showing DAESH oil smuggling routes into Turkey through PYD held areas

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Defence ministry officials sit under screens with satellite images on display during a briefing in Moscow, Russia, December 2, 2015

The Russian Defence Ministry provided maps on Wednesday claiming to show DAESH oil being smuggled into Turkey through PYD controlled areas.

"Turkey is the main consumer of the oil stolen from its rightful owners, Syria and Iraq," said Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov in a press conference.

Antonov held a press conference and showed several maps and satellite images which he says shows the route of oil smuggling into Turkey from DAESH controlled areas in Syria.

Map provided by Russian Defense Ministry claiming to show DAESH oil smuggling routes into Turkey

According to the maps, oil was moved from Raqqa, so called capital of DAESH in Syria, into Turkey passing from areas controlled by PYD, which Turkey considers as the Syrian wing of the PKK terrorist organisation.

The Pentagon rejected Russia's claim of DAESH oil smuggling into Turkey calling it "preposterous", "ridiculous" and "untrue."

Both DAESH and the PKK are recognised as terrorist groups by Turkey, as well as US, EU and NATO.

Tension between Turkey and Russia rose after Turkish F-16 fighter jets shot down a Russian SU-24 for violating Turkish airspace along the Syria border despite repeated warnings.

Since then, Turkish and Russian leaders have been exchanging accusations of helping terrorists in Syria.

First, Russian President Putin claimed that oil from the deposits controlled by DAESH terrorists enters Turkish territory on an “industrial scale.”

Referring to Turkey’s downing of Russian warplane, Putin said “We have every reason to believe that the decision on whether to shoot down our plane was dictated by the desire to ensure the safety of these oil supply routes to Turkish territory."

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded to these claims by saying “You should discuss these matters with Assad whom you have been supporting. Because they (DAESH) are selling it to him and they get the money from him. Their financial source is obvious.”

“We never wanted to come to this point. But if you are looking for someone behind DAESH's financial and weaponry sources, the first ones to be suspected should be the Assad regime and countries who support them,” Erdogan continued.

Turkey sealing Syria border

Turkey is preparing to seal off its border with Syria to prevent the movement of terrorist groups like DAESH and PYD in the region.

Turkish army have deployed 20 tanks in Silopi district of Mardin province and 60 tanks in Gaziantep province on Syrian border, and increased the number of F-16 fighter jets to patrol the area.

“President Erdogan is completely committed and ready to proceed with Turkish forces, and in cooperation with others, to help guarantee that the remaining portion of the border is sealed,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday asking other NATO allies to contribute to the efforts against DAESH.

Germany, which decided to send its aircraft to help fight against DAESH, is also considering to deploy its planes in Turkey’s Incirlik airbase, Reuters reported citing German diplomatic sources.

US sanctions regime and Russian bank

The US imposed sanctions on supporters of Syrian President Bashar al Assad's regime to buy oil from DAESH, including a Russian bank that financed the regime, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OPAC) said last week.

Russian Financial Alliance Bank and two individuals, Mudalal Khuri and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who hold shares or manage the bank, are also among those who are targeted for their role in financial transactions with the Syrian government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sitting with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who was sanctioned by US Treasury Department for financing Syrian regime to buy oil from DAESH

Turkey’s fight against DAESH and PYD

Turkey’s fight against both DAESH and PYD has been intensified in the last six months.

On June 29, Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) decided to consider any incursion west of the Euphrates River in northern Syria along the Turkish border by PYD and any moves of DAESH near the Syrian towns of Azaz and Mare as violation of a “red line.”

Since then Turkish military took “necessary measures” to tighten security along the Syrian border as well as operation air strikes targeting PYD and DAESH in northern Syria.

Turkish Armed Forces targeted several DAESH and PYD locations in those air strikes.

On Oct. 27, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu confirmed that the Turkish Army has striked on positions of PYD militia as the group violated Turkey’s red lines in Syria, going against Turkey’s warnings.

YPG, the military wing of PYD, have also been fighting DAESH in Syria for a long time.

Last year, DAESH besieged the northern Syrian town of Kobani which was controlled by PYD.

PYD could break the siege only with the help of US air strikes on DAESH.

PYD later took control of the Syrian town of Tal Abyad from DAESH pushing the terrorist group further south.


TRTWorld and agencies