The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has been selling smuggled Syrian oil in Turkey worth $800 million, according to Ali Ediboglu, a lawmaker for the border province of Hatay from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Speaking to Taraf, Ediboglu recounted the findings of his research on ISIS activities.
“ISIS is a terrorist organization that poses a global threat, a group that kills recklessly and believes that killing people is a ticket to heaven,” Ediboglu said. “One would expect such a group to engage in certain attacks in Turkey any time. Turkey’s cooperation with thousands of men of such a mentality is extremely dangerous. You can never know what demands they could make to Turkey, a country whose regime they consider to be un-Islamic. No one can guarantee they will not repeat the massacres they commit in Iraq today or carry out similar attacks in Turkey tomorrow.”
Ediboglu said: “$800 million worth of oil that ISIS obtained from regions it occupied this year [the Rumeilan oil fields in northern Syria — and most recently Mosul] is being sold in Turkey. They have laid pipes from villages near the Turkish border at Hatay. Similar pipes exist also at [the Turkish border regions of] Kilis, Urfa and Gaziantep. They transfer the oil to Turkey and parlay it into cash. They take the oil from the refineries at zero cost. Using primitive means, they refine the oil in areas close to the Turkish border and then sell it via Turkey. This is worth $800 million.”
Is Turkish intelligence helping fighters?
Ediboglu further stated: “Fighters from Europe, Russia, Asian countries and Chechnya are going in large numbers both to Syria and Iraq, crossing from Turkish territory. There is information that at least 1,000 Turkish nationals are helping those foreign fighters sneak into Syria and Iraq to join ISIS. The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) is allegedly involved. None of this can be happening without MIT’s knowledge.”
Taraf’s earlier report on diesel smuggling
Last Aug. 20, Taraf carried a report headlined “Smugglers riding on a billion dollars.” It reported that Turkish soldiers clashed with and repelled hundreds of horse riders and thousands of foot smugglers at the Syrian border on a daily basis. It pointed out that the biggest fight between the [Syrian Kurdish] People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra in Rojava [northern Syria] was over the revenues from the sale of the region’s petroleum products to Turkey.
The report noted that some 2,000 oil wells exist in the Rumeilan region, which lies on the other side of the border stretching between [Turkey’s] districts of Cizre in Sirnak province and Nusaybin in Mardin province. “The region’s oil is being smuggled to Turkey. The daily amount of smuggled diesel fuel has reached 1,500 tons, which corresponds to 3.5% of Turkey’s consumption,” it added.
By Guler Vilmaz