European Union buying ISIS oil
European countries are unwittingly funding the ISIS terror campaign by buying oil from Islamic State controlled oil fields, claims a top EU official. The European Ambassador to Iraq has chastised Iran, Kurdistan and Turkey for allowing themselves to be used to facilitate the export of oil produced by the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, which nets them over $3 million a day in revenue.
Jana Hybášková, the former Czech Member of European Parliament and now ambassador to the war-torn country was addressing the committee on foreign affairs when she criticised European nations of inadvertently aiding ISIS.
On the uncoordinated patchwork efforts to aid anti-ISIS fighters in the country so far, she said: “the EU countries that provided arms to the Peshmerga forces to support their fight against the Islamic State did not coordinate amongst each other… there are no guarantees until now to confirm or deny that the Islamic State or Kurdish terrorist organisations have not seized those weapons”.Turkish news agency Anadolu also reported her words on the oil trade that brings millions of dollars a year to ISIS, by criticising Iran, Kurdistan and Turkey for being routes out of Iraq for Europe-bound oil tankers going by road. Other members of the committee, clearly concerned by her accusations pressed her for more details and which nations in Europe were engaging in the trade, but she would give no more detail.
Laying the blame solely at the door of nations outside of the EU, Hybášková demanded the Union “exert pressure on Iran, Kurdistan and Turkey in order to stop this trade”. This is not the first time Turkey has been accused to turning a blind eye to the political situation in Iraq for financial gain.
So far the European External Action Service, the EU branch which administers the Union’s diplomats, has declined to comment.
In response to a claim that Turkey had a $100 billion interest in continuing oil trade with Iraq, even if that meant shipping ISIS product, the Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldızs said on Monday “Such claims are being uttered just to create controversy about Turkey’s policies. However, even before the UN’s decision, Turkey has not purchased oil from ISIS or al-Nusra”.
Stating Turkey wanted to steer clear of the political situation, Yidizs said: “We do not want to get involved in the legal relation between Bagdad and Erbil [The Kurdish Capital]”, however he qualified this by saying Turkey ‘will never aid and abet any kind of terrorist organization or activity’.
Some estimates put ISIS oil production at 80,000 barrels a day, which is shifted by a fleet of 210 trucks and is worth some $3.2 million. According to a CNN report, this network of oil smugglers is well established and stretches back as far as the 1990’s UN sanctions on Saddam Hussein.