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Syria militants smuggle wheat into Turkey: Report

A militant with the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front takes position during clashes with Syrian government forces in Idlib, northern Syria. ©AP

Foreign-backed militants operating across Syria have smuggled large quantities of wheat into Turkey, a report says.

Arabic-language Sham Times news network cited informed sources as saying on Sunday that the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups in the northwestern province of Idlib have smuggled tons of wheat into Turkey.

The move by terrorist groups comes at a time when the harvest of wheat and other grains has dropped to lowest levels in decades due to the turmoil in the country.

The Turkish government has already been accused on numerous occasions of being involved in illegal oil trade with the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

Over the past months, Russia has released pictures and videos purportedly showing the movement of columns of oil tankers from Daesh-held areas in Syria toward Turkey.

Turkey’s border with Syria is used for smuggling weapons into the country.

On June 10, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told reporters that an dense traffic of trucks accompanied by armed guards, has been spotted in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, while “carrying weapons and ammunition” from Turkey.

Reports say Ankara actively trains and arms the Takfiri terrorists and facilitates their safe passage into Syria.

An image grab from a video published on the website of the Turkish Cumhuriyet daily on May 29, 2015 shows mortar shells in boxes intercepted on a truck reportedly destined for Syria.

In May 2015, the center-left Turkish daily Cumhuriyet posted on its website footage showing trucks belonging to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, also known as the MIT, allegedly carrying weapons for militant groups in Syria. The Cumhuriyet video also purportedly showed MIT trucks being inspected by security officers.

UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the Syrian crisis. The UN stopped its official casualty count in Syria more than two years ago, citing its increasing inability to verify the figures it received.

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