Miami - The U.S. State Department has officially rejected Russia’s claims that Turkey smuggles oil along with militants of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).
Miami – The U.S. State Department has officially rejected Russia’s claims that Turkey smuggles oil along with militants of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).
This comes after Russia’s Deputy Minister of Defense, Anatoly Antonov, accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the administration of being involved in “illegal oil trade” with ISIS, according to Al Arabiya news.
“The main consumer of this oil stolen from its legitimate owners Syria and Iraq is Turkey. According to available information, the highest level of the political leadership of the country, President Erdogan and his family, are involved in this criminal business,” Minister Antonov said to the press.
In response to Russia’s allegations, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the accusations were an “emotional” reaction to the alleged downing of a Moscow warplane in Turkish airspace nearly two weeks ago.
“It is not possible to explain Russia’s allegations by reason,” the Turkish Prime Minister said, adding that Russia is violating international law over the “economic sanctions” it imposed on Turkish businesses.
According to the same source, Turkish President Erdogan said that although Russia is “slandering” Turkey with those serious accusations, he will refrain from retaliating to safeguard the relations between the two countries.
“No one has a right to engage in slander against Turkey by saying that Turkey is buying oil from Daesh (ISIS),” Erdogan said to Turkish television during his visit to Qatar.
Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister insists “they have proof that Turkey is colluding with ISIS in its illegal oil trade, citing satellite images of oil tankers between ISIS and Turkey.
The relations between Turkey and Russia have worsened since last November 24 when a fighter jet was downed by Turkey in the Hatay province for allegedly violating Turkish airspace.
Moscow said that the aircraft had not left Syrian airspace and Turkey’s move against Russia was a “very serious incident”.