Obama Warns Erdogan Over ISIS Oil Smuggling

Obama warns Erdogan

This is a cross-post which originally appeared at German Economic News. Translated from the German by Nils Hansen

The US government increases the pressure on Turkey: Within a few days, two official US government representatives have confirmed that IS brings its oil to the global markets via Turkey. Russia presented evidence of this a number of days ago.

The Islamic State terror militia (IS) is, according to Adam Szubin, responsible for the fight against terrorism financing as Acting Under Secretary in the US Treasury, already made more than US$ 500 million through the black market for oil.

As Reuters reports, Szubin said on Thursday in London that a part also came across the border into Turkey. IS oil trade would have a volume of US$ 40 million per month. The commodity would be sold in large quantities to the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Already before, US State Department spokesman John Kirby had said that revenue from oil sales was an important source of financing for IS and that IS would smuggle a part of its oil through Turkey. Kirby was quoted by the newspaper Today Zaman, which belongs to the empire of Pennsylvania based preacher Fetullah Gülen.

The chief editor of the newspaper had stepped down only a few days ago, because he could not bear any longer the government pressure on its newspaper. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who used to be a close ally of Gülen, accuses him today of being in the service of the CIA, and uses extreme force against the Gülen media and other institutions of the movement. Most recently the closure of hospitals has been announced.

Neither Kirby nor Szubin wanted to go as far as accusing the government in Ankara directly of financing terrorism. However, even so it is an unambiguous warning to Erdogan: The Russians want to bring Turkey’s involvement in terror financing to the UN.

The US government seems to be interested in building up a position where it does not cover any longer Turkey’s doings. This would also be a message to the US military and the secret services, having so far covered all Turkish activities without reservation. Yet apparently Obama’s government has an interest in working together with the Russians in the region.