Claim: Turkey exports oil produced by DAESH

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Claim: Turkey exports oil produced by DAESH

2016-01-23 03:29 GMT
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Fehim Tastekin from Al-Monitor claims that Turkey is mixing oil exported by Kurdistan Regional Government with DAESH-produced oil

Erbil refinery in Khabat

Fehim Tastekin from Al-Monitor wrote an article on 19 January 2016 about where Turkey stands on DAESH and the alleged smuggling of oil produced by DAESH members.

“The oil IS (DAESH) was producing in Syria's Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor provinces” wrote Tastekin, “was smuggled into Turkey by mixing it with the Kurdish oil that was legally exported to Turkey by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).” 1

However, it must be noted that the claim that Turkey is smuggling oil from DAESH had first been officially made at a diplomatic level by the Russian Defense Ministry at a media briefing on 2 December 2015. But this claim was later denied by different authorities.

For example, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner rejected the allegations saying: “There is no Turkish government complicity in some operation to buy illegal oil from the DAESH. We just don’t believe that to be true in any way, shape or form.”2

US State Department Spokeswoman Julia Mason also refused the allegations, saying “We reject the premise that the Turkish government is in league with ISIL (DAESH) to smuggle oil. We have seen no evidence to support such an accusation.”3

US Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Adam Szubin said in a press briefing in the White House on 16 December 2015: “We don’t see any evidence that the Turkish government is purchasing oil from ISIL (DAESH).”4

German Foreign Ministry deputy spokeswoman Sawsan Chebli also said that there is no evidence to support Russia's speculations. On the contrary, she said: "The Assad regime has received large amounts of oil from [DAESH]. We have evidence. We have indications showing that this is the case."

The Assad regime was also accused of purchasing oil from DAESH by the Obama administration, and a Syrian-Russian businessman named George Hashwani suspected of being partner of the crime was blacklisted.

Haswani is a Syrian businessman described as the “middleman” for oil deals between DAESH and Bashar al-Assad’s regime. He is the owner of HESCO - an oil and gas company. HESCO, operating in Tabqa, was captured by DAESH in 2014. In his article published on The Telegraph on 7 March 2015, David Blair emphasized that HESCO continues to  supply areas controlled by the Assad regime.5