RFE/RL quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Aaron Stein on Turkey’s attempts to crackdown on the ISIS oil trade:

Amid soaring tensions following Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane near the Syrian border last week, Russia has accused Turkey and its president of involvement in illegal oil sales from the Islamic State (IS) group. The Russian Defense Ministry on December 2 produced what it said was proof of “trade routes” across the Turkish border from Syria and Iraq used in the illegal shipments of oil. Turkey has denied the allegations, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calling Russia’s oil trade claims “slander.”

Analyst Aaron Stein of the Atlantic Council told Under The Black Flag blogger Joanna Paraszczuk on December 4 that while oil trading occurs along the Turkish border, Turkey has been trying to cut down on the middlemen involved. The same brokers are also allegedly involved in human smuggling that ships foreign fighters across the Turkish border. And since the downing of its jet on November 24, Stein says, Russia has stepped up its targeting of Turkish interests in Syria, effectively “aiding the Islamic State in its recent advance in Aleppo.”

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