While suffering huge financial losses due to continuous strikes carried out by Russia’s warplanes against the supply lines of ISIL in Syria used for oil smuggling, Tayyip Erdogan has decided to take under his personal control ISIL held oil fields in Iraq, taking advantage of the fact that Russia has not been fighting the Islamic State in this Arab country yet. In pursuit of this goal the Turkish president sent its armed forces to northern Iraq to occupy the area of Ba`shiqah near the city of Mosul, which has been controlled by terrorists of the Islamic State. As it has been reported by CNN Turk, Turkish armed forces deployed around 25 tanks in that area. The indisputable aim of Erdogan’s actions is an attempt to protect these oil fields in Iraq, that provide ISIL with a source of income, taking advantage of his position as the Turkish Armed Forces’ commander-in-chief.
Allegedly, Ankara is going to build a training camp for Iraqi Kurdish militias – the Peshmerga — or at least it says so to justify an act of armed aggression, however, according to Reuters, this area is still in the hands of ISIL terrorists.
Baghdad’s official response to this act of war was a decidedly harsh one. According to the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Turkish military “entered the Iraqi territory without the request or authorization from the Iraqi federal authorities and this is considered a serious breach of Iraqi sovereignty and does not conform with The Iraqi authorities call on Turkey to respect good neighborly relations and to withdraw immediately from the Iraqi territory.”
Iraq’s Foreign Ministry labeled the incursion of Turkish troops as an “invasion’, stressing that any military operation that hasn’t been agreed on with the government in Baghdad is illegal. This situation has already been commented on by US military officials, who confirmed that this “move is not part of the U.S.-led coalition’s activities.”
According to the data provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense, as a result of Russia’s airstrikes against the criminal ISIL infrastructure in Syria, a total of 32 oil refineries and 11 plants were destroyed along with hundreds of oil tankers that were smuggling stolen oil to Turkey for its subsequent use by Erdogan’s family. As a result, Tayyip Erdogan’s daily profits from these illegal activities have been reduced from 3 million dollars to 1.5 million dollars. This means that daily revenue for ISIL is now cut in half by Russia’s actions, since the sale of stolen oil has been a major source of income for the Islamic State.
Russia’s actions are carried out in accordance with international law, in particular with Resolution 2199 of the UN Security Council on providing an adequate answer to threats to international peace presented by the illegal oil trade. This resolution explicitly states that it:
Encourages the submission of listing requests to the Committee by Member States of individuals and entities engaged in oil trade-related activities with ISIL, ANF and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida and directs the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee to immediately consider designations of individuals and entities engaged in oil trade – related activities with ISIL, the ANF and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida;
So it’s up to international community to assess Erdogan‘s actions and provide for them an adequate response, likewise in accordance with the Resolution 2199.
Martin Berger is a Czech-based freelance journalist and analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.