ISIS sells oil to Assad, not to Turkey: Turkish President Erdoğan
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded today to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s accusation that the Islamic State was selling oil to Turkey saying that it was Moscow’s ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and not Ankara, who was of buying oil from ISIS.
“They say Turkey is buying oil from ISIS,” Erdoğan told his party faithful. “ Turkey’s oil well, places where receive natural gas are clear.”
“ISIS sells to Assad,” the Turkish President added. “The Money is there. The Money supply is clear.”
Putin had earlier accused the Turkish air force of shooting down the Russian Su-24 bomber killing the pilot over the skies of Syria in order to protect ISIS oil sales to Turkey.
“We have long been recording the movement of a large amount of oil and petroleum products to Turkey from ISIS-occupied territories,” Putin said. “This explains the significant funding the terrorists are receiving. Now they are stabbing us in the back by hitting our planes that are fighting terrorism.”
“We did not want it to come to this,” Erdoğan added. “But Assad is responsible for ISIS’s financial strength.”
Erdoğan had earlier refused to apologize to Russia insisting that Moscow must first apologize for violating Turkey’s airspace.
“I think if there is a party that needs to apologize, it is not us,” he told CNN. “Those who violated our airspace are the ones who need to apologize. Our pilots and our armed forces, they simply fulfilled their duties, which consisted of responding to … violations of the rules of engagement. I think this is the essence.”
Putin, who continues to insist that the downed warplane never crossed into Turkish territory, held a meeting with members of Russia’s Security Council, where he described the attack as unexpected.
“It did not even come into our mind that we could be struck by a party that we considered to be our ally,” Putin told journalists earlier. “We considered Turkey to be a friendly country.”
World leaders continue to appeal for calm as Russia vowed to carry out political, economical and military retaliation against Turkey.
As a precaution, Turkey has halted air raids against the Islamic Sate in Syrian territory after Russia began deploying S-400 “Triumph” anti-aircraft batteries near the Hmeimim airbase in Syria, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported.