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MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. Evidence proving Turkey’s involvement in purchasing crude oil from militants of the Islamic State (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia), which the Defense Ministry presented at a news briefing on Wednesday were more than convincing, the head of the Middle East and Central Asia Studies Centre, Semyon Bagdasarov, said in reply to a question from TASS.
"The communities that were mentioned at the news briefing, such as Azaza, on the West Bank of the Euphrates, on the border with Turkey, and the port of Iskenderun, where everything is concentrated looked more than a convincing version," he said.
About Russia’s further steps Bagdasarov said that the main task Russia and its allies in the anti-terrorist coalition were to cope with was to eliminate the buffer zone from where crude oil was being delivered to Turkey and the terrorist groups received reserves.
He believes that the United States and the West will most certainly dismiss all charges of Ankara’s complicity in oil import from the Islamic State.
"It would have been strange for the Pentagon to agree with the charges," he said. "The Americans and Turkey’s Western Partners will keep saying that this is not so because Turkey is a member of NATO. Accusing a NATO member of supporting terrorism is unacceptable for them," Bagdasarov said.
Earlier on Wednesday senior Russian Defense Ministry officials held a news briefing to provide evidence Turkey’s top officials, including president Recep Tayyip Erdogan were involved in the illegal extraction and transportation of Syrian and Iraqi crude to Turkey. The illegal trade is estimated at 200,000 barrels a day, and terrorists’ revenues, at millions of dollars.