14:22 GMT +323 September 2019
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    A member of the Syrian government forces walks next to a well at Jazel oil field, near the ancient city of Palmyra in the east of Homs province after they retook the area from Islamic State (IS) group fighters on March 9, 2015

    White House Sends Ankara Two Warning Shots Over Daesh Oil Smuggling

    © AFP 2019 / STR
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    Senior US government representatives on Wednesday and Thursday finally addressed the terrorist organization's smuggling of oil via Turkish territory.

    Two senior US officials have conceded to Turkey's role in the Daesh oil trade, having previously supported Ankara's denials that it enables the terrorist group to profit by selling stolen Syrian oil.

    On Wednesday US State Department spokesman John Kirby admitted that Turkey was allowing Daesh to transport contraband oil across its border, and said the US government wanted Turkey to close its border with Syria.

    Kirby referred to a "98-kilometer stretch" of the Turkish-Syrian border, "which still needs to be closed off because it provides avenues of sustenance for ISIL," allowing oil, fighters and other supplies to pass between the two countries.

    "We’re working with the Turks to see what we can do to help close that 98-kilometers stretch off," said Kirby, adding that "the Turkish government realizes the importance of this stretch of ground as well, and we’re working hard with them to see what we can do to close it off."

    However, quick to deflect attention from Ankara's links with Daesh, Kirby added that "it’s not just about oil. It’s about all the ways that ISIL can sustain itself inside Syria."

    On Thursday US Treasury official Adam Szubin admitted that Daesh oil is smuggled into Turkey, along with the illogical conclusion that "ISIL is selling a great deal of oil to the Assad regime," and claimed that despite being enemies, the two are "still engaged in millions and millions of dollars of trade."

    Szubin alleged that more oil is sold to the Syrian government that to Turkey.

    "Some is coming across the border into Turkey," admitted Szubin. The official said that each month, the terrorists make as much as $40 million selling oil, and have earned more than $500 million from the oil trade so far.

    The official was unable, however, to come up with any evidence to back up his claim that Assad's government is buying oil from Daesh. 

    The claim was first put forward by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month, in order to deflect attention from the evidence Russia had produced to prove that the Turkish government is buying oil from Daesh.


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    US government, Syria, United States, Turkey
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