Putin: Turkey shot down jet to protect ISIS oil trade
The war of words between Russia and Turkey continue after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ankara of shooting down one of their warplanes last week to protect supplies of oil from ISIS to Turkey.
“We have every reason to think that the decision to shoot down our plane was dictated by the desire to protect the oil supply lines to Turkish territory, right to the ports where it is loaded onto tankers,” Putin said during a news conference on the fringes of U.N. climate talks near Paris.
“We have received additional information which unfortunately confirms that this oil, produced in areas controlled by the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations, is transported on an industrial scale to Turkey.”
After the Su-24 bomber was downed on the Syrian border last week, Putin accused the Turks of being “accomplices of terrorists” and said oil from ISIS territory was being exported through Turkey.
Revenues from selling oil constitute one of the main sources of income for ISIS, which controls large areas of Syria and Iraq.
For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would be “ready to quit office” if the allegations by Russia were proven true.
“I will say something very strong here. If such a thing is proven, the nobility of our nation would require that I would not stay in office,” Erdogan was quoted by the state-run Anatolia news agency as saying on the sidelines of the UN climate talks near Paris, which Putin is also attending.
Challenging Putin, who has refused to meet the Turkish leader after the shooting down of a Russian military jet, Erdogan added: “And I tell Mr Putin ‘would you stay in that office?’ I say this clearly.”