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Russian Defense Ministry Briefs Media on Turkey’s Role in Financing ISIS; More Intelligence to Come

Dec. 2, 2015 (EIRNS)—At 3:00 p.m. this afternoon, Moscow time, top-level officers of Russia’s General Staff offered an extensive briefing to media on the illegal, "industrial-sized" operation through which Turkey—most especially President Recep Erdogan and his family—finances the Islamic State (ISIS), by purchasing the oil ISIS has stolen from Syria and Iraq. Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy, Chief of the Main Operational directorate of the General Staff, and Lt. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of Chief of the National Center for State Defense Control, used satellite and reconnisance photos, videos, and maps to demonstrate the extent of Turkey’s "business" operations with the Islamic terrorists, noting that today’s briefing represented only "a part" of their intelligence, and that more is to come.

Spelling out the magnitude of the illegal operation, Gen. Rudskoy reported that, in total, it involves 8,500 trucks transporting up to 200,000 tons of oil daily, with most of the trucks entering Turkish territory from Iraq. In the two-months that Russian air forces have been in Syria, he continued, they have destroyed 32 oil production facilities, 11 refineries and 23 oil pumping stations, plus a total of 1,080 tanker trucks. This has reduced the illegal oil turnover by almost 50%, and reduced illegal oil revenues from $3 mn. a day to $1.5 mn. a day. But terrorists continue to receive financial resources, he warned, as well as weapons, ammunition, and other supplies for their activities

"Certain nations, primarily Turkey," Gen. Rudskoy said,

"are directly involved in the Islamic State’s large-scale business project, thereby aiding the terrorists. The General Staff of the Russian Federation Armed Forces has irrefutable evidence of Turkey’s involvement based on aerial and space reconnaisance data."

Deputy Defense Minister Antonov specified that President Erdogan, his family, and the country’s "senior political leadership" were guilty of facilitating the purchase of oil from ISIS. In the West, he said, "no one has asked questions about the fact that the Turkish President’s son heads one of the biggest energy companies, or that his son-in-law has been appointed Energy minister. What a marvelous family business!"

Lt. Gen. Mizintsev provided further detail on a flow of militants, munitions, and automobile hardware "coming from Turkey," which have provided key reinforcements to ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra.

Gen. Rudskoy presented the bulk of the very detailed report on the main transportation routes into Turkey used by the jihadis. The many maps, videos, and satellite images he used showed convoys of vehicles freely crossing the Turkish border, from Syrian territory controlled by al Nusra and ISIS. "These vehicles are not checked at the Turkish side," he said, and there are hundreds of such vehicles. The Turkish ports of Dortyol and Iskenderun possess special mooring places for tankers; oil is loaded onto vessels and sent to oil-processing facilities outside Turkey. Rudskoy detailed locations of other oil-extraction operations, such as the region near Deir ez-Zor, under ISIS control, where large concentrations of tanker trucks can be seen waiting for shipments.

He pointedly explained that, "as there are no strikes by the U.S.-led coalition" on any of these convoys, the Defense Ministry will post on its website the "coordinates of active concentration areas with tanker trucks," for other nations to use. "The Russian aviation group will continue performing tasks concerning liquidating oil infrastructure facilities of the ISIS terrorist organization in the Syrian Arab Republic. The Russian Defense Ministry also encourages the coalition colleagues [to take] such action," Gen. Rudskoy stated.