Moscow accuses Erdogan’s family of involvement in ISIS oil trade

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ANKARA – Russia’s defence ministry on Wednesday accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family of involvement in illegal oil trade with ISIS, as a dispute rages over Ankara’s downing of one of Moscow’s warplanes.

“The main consumer of this oil stolen from its legitimate owners Syria and Iraq is Turkey. According to available information, the highest level of the political leadership of the country, President Erdogan and his family, are involved in this criminal business,” deputy defence minister Anatoly Antonov told journalists.

On Wednesday, Turkey emphasized it won’t retaliate against Russia’s “emotional” sanctions.

Russian Defence Ministry officials also said that they had proof of their claim.

The officials, speaking at an event in Moscow, cited satellite imagery which they said showed oil tanker trucks heading from ISIS territory to Turkey and said they knew of three routes by which the oil passed into Turkey.

The Defence Ministry added it would continue to launch air strikes on ISIS oil infrastructure in Syria as part of its bombing campaign.

In response, Erdogan said that Russia had no right to “slander” Turkey with allegations and he does not want any further harm to relations with Russia.

“No one has a right to engage in slander against Turkey by saying that Turkey is buying oil from Daesh (ISIS),” Erdogan said in comments broadcasted by Turkish television on a visit to Qatar, after the Russian defence ministry claimed he and his family were involved in the illegal oil trade.

Agencies

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