Press TV has conducted an interview with Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq's ex-national security advisor from Baghdad, to ask for his insight about black market oil sales in Turkey.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Dr. Rubaie welcome to the program. Please explain to us more on how Turkey has provided a black market for the Daesh terrorist group to sell its oil.
Rubaie: The Daesh terrorist organization has a huge truck convoy. From inside Iraq and inside Syria, they are selling the Iraqi oil in the Turkish black market for the Turkish businessmen under the auspices, under the, if you like, care and eyes of the Turkish security forces. Now they manage to fetch and generate revenue. In the last few months, probably eight to 10 months, they managed to generate USD 800 million in the Turkish black market. And basically what they do [is that] this Iraqi crude oil and Syrian crude oil get refined inside Turkey locally and the products get sold in the Turkish market. They also truck it [the smuggled oil] basically as a secondary market. They get it to Jihan [pipeline], and then ship [it] in the pipeline to Mediterranean coast and then to the international market. It gets sold for probably around USD 20-25 a barrel and that is probably in the range of 50 percent reduction of the price. We have been monitoring this; I mean our allies and ourselves have been monitoring this market for months and months and months and we came to this conclusion that until unless Turkish authorities apply their control on this market, this market is the lake of oxygen. Dollars and money is like oxygen for Daesh terrorist organization and if you want to suffocate, if you want to strangle this terrorist organization you need to stop this oxygen and the oxygen is the dollars, the oxygen is the money Daesh terrorist organization is generating in the Turkish market.
Now there are other activities, unfortunately, the Turkish government needs to do and to stop [them]. Two years ago for example, there were thousands and thousands of these Jihadists coming from all over the world, from North Africa, from the Middle East; Saudis, Emiratis, Qataris and Kuwaitis coming to Istanbul as a hub and then they went down to south to cross the borders from Turkey to Syria and then to Iraq. Nowadays, admittedly, there are probably still hundreds at month coming to Istanbul as a hub and then percolate, if you like, through the Syrian-Turkish border and then to Iraq.
We have managed to either arrest or kill those who are fighting in Iraq, the terrorists. They are very few numbers of them actually the Iraqis. Most of them are either European or North African or Arabs coming from Sudan or from Saudi Arabia. And they are taking over Daesh terrorist organization in Iraq, fighting the Iraqi government forces.
So there are so many things the Turkish government can do and should do; for example, Daesh terrorist leaders, when they get wounded, they go to the Turkish hospitals and there are so many of them. We have cited at least tens of them in the hospitals south of Turkey and they are getting treatment and when they get cured, they go back to Iraq or Syria. So I think it is a moral and it is an international duty for the Turkish government to do its duty, to do its share in countering terrorism.