- - Monday, November 30, 2015

Former Iraqi member of Parliament Mowaffak al Rubaie has accused Turkey of turning a blind eye to the black market ISIS oil trade.

“In the last eight months ISIS has managed to sell … $800 million dollars worth of oil on the black market of Turkey. This is Iraqi oil and Syrian oil, carried by trucks from Iraq, from Syria through the borders to Turkey and sold … [at] less than 50 percent of the international oil price,” Mowaffak al Rubaie said in an interview with RT.

“Now this either gets consumed inside, the crude is refined on Turkish territory by the Turkish refineries, and sold in the Turkish market. Or it goes to Jihan and then in the pipelines from Jihan to the Mediterranean and sold to the international market.

“Money and dollars generated by selling Iraqi and Syrian oil on the Turkish black market is like the oxygen supply to ISIS and its operation,” he added. “Once you cut the oxygen then ISIS will suffocate.”

The Iraqi MP and former national security adviser said there is “no shadow of a doubt” that the Turkish government knows about the oil smuggling operations. “The merchants, the businessmen [are buying oil] in the black market in Turkey under the noses – under the auspices if you like – of the Turkish intelligence agency and the Turkish security apparatus.”

Russia has used the perception of complicity in funding the Islamic State in its propaganda campaign against Turkey since the downing of the Russian jet fighter last week. It seems the two countries have competing agendas as Russia looks to keep Assad in power and Turkey seeks to support its Sunni allies in northern Syria. It seems likely that the downing of the Russian plane was much more about the bombing of Turkish Syrian allies than the violation of NATO’s airspace.

The Obama administration and NATO in general should bear in mind Turkey’s agenda in the region before allowing the Islamist state to draw the alliance into any type of further conflict with Russia. It seems obvious that the situation in the Middle East is clouded indeed with competing, hidden agendas of all the world powers involved, including the Obama White House.

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