23:21 GMT30 March 2020
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    Security agencies estimate that the Islamic State terrorist group has gained some $800 million in revenues from selling smuggled Iraqi oil and gas on Turkey’s black market over the past eight months, the leader of the State of Law Coalition party in the Iraqi parliament told Sputnik on Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Rubaie, a distinguished Iraqi politician and former national security advisor, said oil and gas revenues were "the oxygen that feeds the Islamic State."

    "Over the past eight months, they [ISIL] sold $800 million worth of Iraqi oil and gas on Turkey’s black market, at a price half the global rate," Mowaffak Rubaie said.

    He stressed that curbing financial flows was essential for defeating the extremist group.

    The politician suggested that hydrocarbons smuggled by ISIL militants could be processed in Turkey or resold on the global market.

    "The [smuggled] oil is used either for domestic consumption at official oil refineries or it is re-exported through the Ceyhan port to markets worldwide," Rubaie said, adding Turkish intelligence and security agencies were aware of this illegal trade.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov observed on Wednesday that Turkey struck down a Russian fighter jet operating in Syria after Russian attack aircraft launched airstrikes against ISIL convoys with stolen oil there.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said at Friday’s meeting with French President Francois Hollande that plundered Syrian crude was being transported by ISIL to the Turkish territory on an "industrial scale."

    The US Department of Treasury estimated last month that IS earns on average between $40 million and $50 million monthly and about $500 million a year from oil sales.


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    Oil, Daesh, Turkey, Iraq
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