At Wednesday’s Defense Ministry briefing in Moscow, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov presented Russian intelligence materials, including photographs, satellite imagery, and detailed maps outlining exactly how “industrial quantities” of oil from Daesh-controlled territories in Syria and Iraq find their way into Turkey, and then on to third countries.Undoubtedly the most sensational moment in the briefing was Antonov’s statement that Turkey’s top political leadership, including President Erdogan and his family, are directly involved in the trade of dirty oil.
In the course of his briefing, the deputy defense minister preempted the skeptics by recommending that journalists use the Defense Ministry’s findings to continue their own investigations into the shady affair, adding that Turkey should allow journalists “access to the places we showed journalists today.”
Despite independent analysts saying that the briefing’s disclosures were an “important first step,” which will hopefully be followed up with the release of further evidence and an investigation by the UN Security Council, much of the Western media, unfortunately, seems to want to see the fruits of the Russian investigation die on the vine.
The reaction of The Washington Post and The New York Times, amounting to a rehashing of an article by The Associated Press, blamed “Russia’s top military brass” for “sharply raising the stakes in Moscow’s spat with Ankara” through their “bluntly-worded accusations” against the Turkish president.
Deputy Defense Minister Antonov, AP continued, “didn’t provide any specific evidence to back up the claims of personal involvement of Erdogan and his family in the oil trade with the IS.” Moreover, the Turkish president, the article recalled, had already vowed to resign if Moscow’s accusations were proven to be true.
The AP piece cited a spokesman from the US State Department, who “categorically rejected Russia’s allegations” (naturally, before really even having a chance…