KRG dismisses Russian claims of ISIL oil sales to Turkey
ARBIL – Anadolu Agency
This handout picture taken 13 July 2006 shows a portion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline at the Ceyhan crude oil terminal near Turkey's southern coastal city of Adana. AFP PhotoThe Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) on Dec. 3 denied recent claims by the Russian Defense Ministry that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group has been selling oil to Turkey, stating that the trucks in the footage shown by Russia were actually carrying oil from the KRG to Turkey’s Ceyhan port.
Şerko Cevdet, the head of the KRG’s energy commission, told state-run Anadolu Agency that recently published Russian satellite images showed tankers carrying oil from the Kurdish region to Ceyhan in southern Turkey.
On Dec. 2, Russian Defense Ministry officials published images that they claimed showed tanker trucks transporting oil from ISIL-controlled installations in Syria and Iraq to Turkey via Kurdish areas.
According to Cevdet, however, it is impossible to transport oil from ISIL-held areas to Turkey via the Kurdish region.
“The KRG exports its oil via pipelines and tankers to Turkey for sale to buyers around the world. The Russian satellite images showed these tankers,” he said.
“Russia has no proof of any oil transactions between Turkey, the Kurdish region and Daesh,” he added, using an Arabic acronym to refer to ISIL.
Tension has mounted between Ankara and Moscow since Nov. 24, when Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on the grounds of an airspace violation.
Since then, Moscow has imposed a series of economic sanctions on Turkey, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has alleged that Turkey was buying oil from ISIL.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vigorously denied Putin’s claims, vowing to step down if the allegations are proven true and calling on Putin to do the same if they are proven false.