Israeli minister accuses Turkey of oil trade with IS

Israeli minister accuses Turkey of oil trade with IS
2 min read
28 January, 2016
Israel's defence minister has accused Turkey of funding the Islamic State group through oil trades with the militant group.
Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon says Turkey is buying oil from IS [Getty]
Israeli Defence Minister, Moshe Yaalon, has accused Turkey of buying oil from the Islamic State [IS] group and funding the militant group with "Turkish money".

The group has "enjoyed Turkish money for oil for a very, very long period of time," the minister said while on a visit to Athens.

The accusations follow reports showing that a significant amount of IS oil has ended up in Israeli ports.

"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," Yaalon added.

Turkey refuted the allegations that it had allowed oil to be smuggled across its borders.

A recent investigation by The New Arab said that oil smuggled from IS territories has on numerous occasions ended up on the port of Ashdod in Israel.

Read Also: How Islamic State oil flows to Israel

The investigation found that oil extracted from IS-controlled fields is sent through smuggling mafias who use brokers to export the oil to Israel.

Yaalon's comments come at a time when Israel and Turkey are trying to normalise relations following the 2010 Mavi Marmara attack, where Israeli forces killed 10 Turkish activists attempting to break the Gaza blockade.
Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Tel Aviv to improve relations with Ankara.

"Israel is in need of a country like Turkey in the region. And we too must accept that we need Israel. This is a reality in the region," Erdogan said.