On Wednesday the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces presented evidence demonstrating Turkish involvement in funding the Islamic State.
The Russians claim Islamic groups “continue to receive significant funding, as well as weapons, ammunition and other material nourishment for their activities” and a large “number of states and especially Turkey” are involved in funding terrorist activities.
The Russian Federation’s Deputy Minister of Defense, Anatoly Ivanovich Antonov, said illegal oil revenue is the primary source of the funding.
The “irrefutable evidence” presented includes space and aerial reconnaissance data, according to the Russians. The General Staff identified three main routes of oil transport into Turkey from areas controlled by “armed gangs.”
“The western route goes to Turkish ports on the Mediterranean coast, the north—to the refinery Batman in Turkey and the east—to the largest transshipment base in the village of Cizre,” the Russian Ministery of Defense web page states.
Oil from fields near the Syrian city of Raqqa—said to be the capital city of the Islamic State—is transported at night through the border town of Azaz, Syria and Reyhanli, Turkey to the port of Iskenderun and Dörtyol where the stolen oil is loaded on tankers.
The Russians claim the convoys are under the control of al-Nusra, the terror group funded by the Gulf Emirates and that cooperates with the Islamic State and supposed moderates in the Free Syrian Army.
The presentation describes two other transport points in the vicinity of Deir ez-Zor and in the northwestern area of Syria.
The Russians said they will continue to hit the areas and have invited the coalition led by the United States to do the same.
Following the presentation Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that nobody has a right to “slander” Turkey by accusing it of buying oil from Islamic State.
Erdogan has said he will resign if it is proven Turkey cooperates with the Islamic State on the theft and sale of Syrian and Iraqi petroleum.
During a speech “at a university in the Qatar’s capital of Doha on Wednesday, Erdogan once again claimed that he would resign if such accusations were proven to be true and stressed he did not want Turkey’s relations with Russia to deteriorate further,” RT reported.