02 December 2015

This is the Least Surprising News of the Day

Russia accused Turkey of buying ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/Whatever oil. Turkish President Erdogan called this a false slander.

But guess what? Putin is ready to give the world pictures:
Russia's defense ministry said on Wednesday it had proof that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his family were benefiting from the illegal smuggling of oil from Islamic State-held territory in Syria and Iraq.

Moscow and Ankara have been locked in a war of words since last week when a Turkish air force jet shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Turkish border, the most serious incident between Russia and a NATO state in half a century.

Erdogan responded by saying no one had the right to "slander" Turkey by accusing it of buying oil from Islamic State, and that he would stand down if such allegations were proven to be true. But speaking during a visit to Qatar, he also said he did not want relations with Moscow to worsen further.

At a briefing in Moscow, defense ministry officials displayed satellite images which they said showed columns of tanker trucks loading with oil at installations controlled by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and then crossing the border into neighboring Turkey.

The officials did not specify what direct evidence they had of the involvement of Erdogan and his family, an allegation that the Turkish president has vehemently denied.

"Turkey is the main consumer of the oil stolen from its rightful owners, Syria and Iraq. According to information we've received, the senior political leadership of the country - President Erdogan and his family - are involved in this criminal business," said Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov.

"Maybe I'm being too blunt, but one can only entrust control over this thieving business to one's closest associates."

"In the West, no one has asked questions about the fact that the Turkish president's son heads one of the biggest energy companies, or that his son-in-law has been appointed energy minister. What a marvelous family business!"


The Russian defense ministry also alleged that the same criminal networks which were smuggling oil into Turkey were also supplying weapons, equipment and training to Islamic State and other Islamist groups.

"According to our reliable intelligence data, Turkey has been carrying out such operations for a long period and on a regular basis. And most importantly, it does not plan to stop them," Sergei Rudskoy, deputy head of the Russian military's General Staff, told reporters.

The defense ministry said its surveillance revealed hundreds of tanker trucks gathering at Islamic State-controlled sites in Iraq and Syria to load up with oil, and it questioned why the U.S.-led coalition was not launching more air strikes on them.

"It's hard not to notice them," Rudskoy said of the lines of trucks shown on satellite images.

Russian officials said their country's bombing campaign had made a significant dent in Islamic State's ability to produce, refine and sell oil.
Oh, snap!


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