Israel Accuses Turkey of Buying Oil from ISIS
Israel has accused Turkey of buying oil from ISIS, thereby funding the militants’ activities.
Speaking in Athens, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said ISIS had “enjoyed Turkish money for oil for a very, very long period of time”.
Turkey denies permitting ISIS smuggling, and the US recently rejected Russian allegations that Turkish government officials were in league the militants.
ISIS has captured swathes of Syria and Iraq, including operational oil fields.
Moshe Yaalon told reporters after a meeting with his Greek counterpart: “It’s up to Turkey, the Turkish government, the Turkish leadership, to decide whether they want to be part of any kind of cooperation to fight terrorism.
“This is not the case so far. As you know, Daesh [Islamic State] enjoyed Turkish money for oil for a very, very long period of time. I hope that it will be ended.”
Moshe Yaalon also alleged that Turkey had “permitted jihadists to move from Europe to Syria and Iraq and back”.
US state department officials last month rejected Russian allegations of Turkish government involvement but a state department spokesman said IS oil was being smuggled into Turkey via middlemen.
Efforts by Israel and Turkey to repair damaged ties already hit a setback this month over demands for compensation for the deaths of 10 Turkish activists on an aid ship in 2010.
The Israeli navy had raided a flotilla of ships trying to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
Senior Israeli and Turkish officials met in December to try to repair relations, raising hopes of progress in negotiations to import Israeli natural gas.