A man working at a makeshift oil refinery site, watches an improvised burner in the countryside of Hasakah, northeast Syria. Photo: ARA News
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Dohuk, Kurdistan Region – As Turkey launched its first strikes against militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in Syria, questions have been raised concerning Turkey-IS oil deals, especially after reports of a U.S. raid on a central headquarter of the radical group in eastern Syria that uncovered confidential agreements on oil shipments from IS-held areas to Turkey.
The U.S. forces stormed IS headquarters in Deir ez-Zor last May, targeting Abu Sayyaf, an IS official responsible for oil smuggling.
The U.S.-led operation resulted in the death of Aby Sayyaf and the arrest of his wife, beside obtaining classified files on recent oil shipments and agreements.
The operation revealed documents proving all trade agreements between IS group and Turkey.
Over the past six months, Turkey has been purchasing oil from IS militants on a daily basis for estimated $1m-$4m per barrel.
“The oil trade between the jihadis and the Turks was held up as evidence of an alliance between the two,” The Guardian reported on Monday.
In the wake of the raid that killed Abu Sayyaf, suspicions of an undeclared alliance have hardened.
A senior western official familiar with the operation that led to the death of the Tunisian militant Abu Sayyaf and the uncovered oil deals between IS and Turkey, said that direct dealings between Turkish officials and high ranking IS members was now “undeniable”.
“There are hundreds of flash drives and documents that were seized there,” the official told the Observer. “They are being analysed at the moment, but the links are already so clear that they could end up having profound policy implications for the relationship between us and Ankara.”
Speaking to ARA News, Syria politician Ibrahim Mohammed said: “Turkey has obviously cooperated with IS on different levels, including oil sales. However, the radical group has no consistent policy with Turkey as a country.”
“With its recent strikes in Syria, Turkey tries to eliminate its uncovered relations with this terrorist group, but the evidence obtained by the U.S. special forces cannot be eliminated. The world won’t forgive Turkey for its double game in Syria.”
Reporting by: Issa Ali
Source: ARA News