Russia’s Defense Ministry published images and a map it says reveal a chain of oil smuggling to Turkey from Islamic State – from extraction to refining facilities. At least three ISIS oil supply routes were located, all leading to Turkey.
“The General Staff of the Russian Federation Armed Forces has irrefutable evidence of Turkey’s involvement based on aerial and space reconnaissance data,” Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoy said during the Defense Ministry briefing on Wednesday.
According to Rudskoy, Russia has identified “three main oil transportation routes from ISIS-controlled Syrian and Iraqi territories into Turkey.”
“The western route leads to the Mediterranean ports, the northern route leads to the Batman oil refinery on the Turkish territory and the eastern one leads to a large transfer base in Cizre [Turkey].”
The documents published by the ministry show “the entire chain of oil supply into Turkey - from extraction to refining facilities.”
“In total, in their illegal oil smuggling business, terrorists are using at least 8,500 trucks to transport up to 200,000 barrels of oil every day.”
He added that the vehicles with illegal oil that are crossing Turkey are not checked at the border.
“The presented photos, which were taken this August, demonstrate hundreds of oil trucks and heavy vehicles moving both to and from the Turkish border.”
Rudskoy concluded that most of the oil is being transferred from eastern Syria to a large oil refinery plant in Batman, 100km from the Syrian border.
The 200,000 barrels of oil that Russia says is smuggled by IS every day is roughly equivalent to the average daily oil export of Gabon in 2014 or Australia in 2013, according to an OPEC annual statistical bulletin.
It is also only slightly less than the average daily oil export of pre-war Syria in the second half of the 2000s, whichamounted to 247,000-250,000 barrels per day.