BE THANKFUL FOR PUTIN: Russia says its strikes reduce ISIS oil smuggling to Turkey
Russia said Friday that trucks loaded with oil continue to cross from Syria into Turkey but in lesser numbers thanks to its bombing campaign against Islamic State jihadists.
“Oil tank trucks are continuing to cross the Syrian-Turkish border,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
Citing intelligence data, Moscow said the number of oil tankers moving along the so-called northern route towards a refinery in the Turkish city of Batman had gone down.
The same could be seen along the western route leading to Reyhanli and Iskenderun, the two Turkish cities on the Mediterranean coast, the ministry said.
“The number of oil tankers there went down to 265,” the statement said.
Moscow said jihadists had been looking for new ways to smuggle oil out of Syria to avoid Russian strikes.
Some of the trucks travelling from Syria are entering Turkey near the Iraqi city of Zakho on the Turkish border, the statement said.
“Despite a significant ‘detour’, Turkey remains the final point of the smuggling route,” the defense ministry said.
Oil tankers going through the so-called northern and western routes are mainly travelling at night, it added.
“Oil tankers are disguised as ordinary trucks and travel in small columns numbering a few dozen vehicles,” the ministry said.
Over the past week, Russian strikes destroyed
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