Islamic State official Abu Sayyaf was responsible for directing the terror army’s oil and gas operations in Syria. Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) earns up to $US10 million per month selling oil on black markets.
Documents and flash drives seized during the Sayyaf raid reportedly
revealed links “so clear” and “undeniable” between Turkey and ISIS “that
they could end up having profound policy implications for the
relationship between us and Ankara,” a senior western official familiar
with the captured intelligence told the Guardian.
NATO member Turkey has long been accused by experts, Kurds, and even Joe Biden of enabling ISIS by turning a blind eye to the vast smuggling networks of weapons and fighters during the ongoing Syrian war.
The move by the ruling AKP party was apparently part of ongoing
attempts to trigger the downfall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s
Ankara officially ended its loose border policy last year, but not before its southern frontier became a transit point for cheap oil, weapons, foreign fighters, and pillaged antiquities.
In November, a former ISIS member told Newsweek that the group was essentially given free reign by Turkey’s army.
“ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was
full cooperation with the Turks,” the fighter said. “ISIS saw the
Turkish army as its ally especially when it came to attacking the Kurds
But as the alleged arrangements progressed, Turkey allowed the group
to establish a major presence within the country — and created a huge
problem for itself.
“The longer this has persisted, the more difficult it has become for
the Turks to crack down [on ISIS] because there is the risk of a counter
strike, of blowback,” Jonathan Schanzer, a former counterterrorism
analyst for the US Treasury Department, explained to Business Insider in November.