‘No way West was unaware of ISIS-Turkey oil trade’
What will be the reaction of Ankara’s Western allies following Moscow’s revelations that Turkey is involved in ISIS oil smuggling, RT asked experts.
The evidence presented by the Russian Defense Ministry will be “partly ignored and distorted” by Western MSM, says Foreign Affairs Editor Srdja Trifkovic.
“I think that Erdogan will scream ‘blue murder’ and claim that this is all a set-up and a reaction to what he calls ‘justified downing of the Russian plane’. The real issue is what the US will do about this. Because it is quite obvious the Turkish tail has been wagging the American dog for far too long,” he said.
“My hunch is that the US will continue to be reluctant to really do something about it. They have had a chance to do so for 15 months prior to the beginning of the Russian air strikes on September, 25. The question of all questions is whether Erdogan will finally be pressed by his Western partners to shape up and to act like a civilized person, which unfortunately he is not,” Trifkovic told RT.
“I think the first reaction we’re going to see is embarrassment though that might happen behind closed doors. There is no conceivable way that Turkey’s Western allies were unaware of the oil trade between ISIS and Turkey. They have the same satellite and reconnaissance capabilities as the Russians. And they’ve probably known about it longer and in more detail. So, the first reaction will be embarrassment and I think a real scramble to recapture the narratives because this is public now,” said Middle East geopolitics analyst Sharmine Narwani.
Russia is working with the UN Security Council on a draft resolution which aims to curb the illegal oil trade with and by terrorist groups. Commenting on Erdogan’s possible reaction to the move, the expert said he is “a hot head.”
“The thing with Erdogan is that you never know quite what to expect. So, we may see an escalation, we may see de-escalation but it must be face-saving for him, he is a proud arrogant man… I think Erdogan will be a recipient of serious pressure from his NATO and Western allies on this latest Russian revelation,” Narwani added.
Some UK MPs believe Turkey is contributing to instability in Syria
It is important for Turkey that the crisis in Syria is resolved, says British Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski. Some MPs believe Turkey is contributing to the instability rather than working with countries like Russia and UK to bring peace to Syria, he added.
"There’ve already been a lot of questions raised about Turkey on the floor of the House of Commons and, in particular, about the fact that they have been buying oil from ISIS. This has been raised repeatedly by members of Parliament here. And although Turkey may be a NATO ally, if she’s behaving irresponsibly in this regard, then severe criticism ought to be relayed to the government in Ankara. I’m personally very concerned about the way which the Russian jet was brought down; I don’t think Turkey has adequately answered some of the concerns posed by Russia. It is very important for Turkey, I would say, that the crisis in Syria is resolved. And there are some members of parliament who actually believe Turkey is contributing to the instability rather than working with countries like Russia and ourselves to bring peace to that country.
The EU has been trying to negotiate with Turkey on the security of its border with Syria and how it is going to be handling the large numbers of Syrians refugees that have come through Turkey towards Greece and the EU. I think it is very important that we continue discussions with Turkey – it is an applicant nation of the EU, it is a NATO partner of ours. And rather than cutting off dialogue we want to be using our position to negotiate with them because clearly there are tensions now rising between Turkey and Russia. I spoke earlier about the sanctions that are taking place. The temperature is rising between Russian and Turkish relations, and that serves nobody – neither us nor the Russians. So, I think the Prime Minister will come under a lot of pressure in the coming days to negotiate with the Turks and to make sure that they are behaving in a more responsible way. I think I would publicly say that their inability to stop ISIL selling oil in Turkey is appalling because the more resources that DAESH [IS/ISIL/ISIS] get, the more European lives are put at risk".
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.