US reaction to Daesh oil transfer to Turkey 'theater of absurd'
Russia has blamed the US for attempts to cover up the smuggling of illicit oil into Turkey from the Syrian territory under the occupation of Daesh terrorists after Washington's claims that the amount of such oil transfers is negligible.
"When US officials say they don't see how the terrorists' oil is smuggled to Turkey... it smells badly of a desire to cover up these acts," said Russian Defense Ministry in a Saturday statement on Facebook.
"The declarations of the Pentagon and the State Department seem like a theater of the absurd," the statement further noted, saying US authorities "watch the videos taken by its (own) drones which have recently been three times as numerous over the Turkey-Syria border and above the oil zones."
The development came as US special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs, Amos Hochstein, stated on Friday that the quantity of oil illicitly trafficked into Turkey from Syrian territories that remain under the control of the Daesh terror group is "of no significance from a volume perspective -- both volume of oil and volume of revenue."
"I don't believe that there is significant smuggling, between ISIL-controlled areas and Turkey of oil in any significance in volume," said the senior US official on Friday.
Hochstein’s remarks came after the Kremlin alleged that Ankara was profiting from the illegitimate trade.
Moscow and Ankara have been exchanging allegations in recent days over Turkey’s involvement in the illicit oil trade.
Tensions have been escalating between the two countries after Turkish war planes shot down a Russian bomber on the Syrian border.
NATO authorities have estimated that Daesh pockets $1.0 million to $1.5 million per day from the smuggling of stolen Syrian oil into Turkey, expressing "hopes" that renewed air strikes by US, British and French forces reduce that amount.
SOUTHWEST ASIA, December 6, 2015 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.ReplyDelete
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 strikes in Syria:
-- Near Mar’a, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL building.
-- Near Ayn Isa, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL excavator, an ISIL tactical vehicle, and an ISIL building.
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, five strikes destroyed five ISIL oil wellheads.
-- Near Raqqah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and wounded an ISIL fighter.
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber and fighter aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Huwayjah, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL tunnel.
-- Near Albu Hayat, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and suppressed an ISIL rocket rail.
-- Near Mosul, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL mortar tube, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL command and control node, an ISIL excavator, an ISIL heavy machine gun, and suppressed a separate ISIL heavy machine gun position.
-- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL sniper position, an ISIL vehicle bomb facility, four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun, three ISIL buildings, four ISIL command and control nodes, three ISIL staging areas, two ISIL weapons caches, damaged an ISIL fighting position, and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions and two ISIL heavy machine guns.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL heavy machine gun, and an ISIL vehicle.
Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.