Iraq PM Says ISIL Smuggles Majority of Oil via Turkey
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Monday that most oil smuggled by ISIL goes through Turkey, joining a chorus of countries linking it with the extremists' financing.
During a meeting with Germany's visiting foreign minister, Abadi stressed the "importance of stopping oil smuggling by (ISIL) terrorist gangs, the majority of which is smuggled via Turkey," a statement from his office said.
Relations with Ankara have improved since Abadi took office in 2014, but tensions remain over issues including the Syrian civil war, and more recently a row over a Turkish military deployment in northern Iraq.
It is the latest in a series of statements linking Turkey and oil smuggling by ISIL, which overran large parts of Iraq last year and also holds major territory in neighboring Syria.
Russia blamed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family for involvement in the ISIL oil trade, to which he responded that Russia was in fact involved.
Mohsen Rezaie, secretary of Iran's Expediency Council, said Iranian military advisers on the ground in Iraq and Syria had images of ISIL oil trucks going to Turkey.
The US has meanwhile claimed that ISIL oil smuggling through Turkey is not significant, prompting Moscow to accuse Washington of a cover-up.
In recent days, Baghdad has slammed Ankara for sending troops to northern Iraq without its knowledge or approval and demanded they be withdrawn.