Friday, December 18, 2015

war is a racket

thedailybeast |  Turkey’s relationship with with ISIS is… complicated. Critics have accused the Turkish government of allowing, if not encouraging, the terror group’s activities along Turkey’s border.

On Nov. 24, a Turkish warplane shot down a Russian attack plane that apparently briefly strayed into Turkey’s airspace. One Russian crew member died. Moscow retaliated with economic sanctions and, in early December, accused Turkey of facilitating ISIS’s illicit oil exports, which reportedly account for half of the terror group’s revenue.

On Dec. 3, the Russian defense ministry released imagery—apparently provided by the Persona or Resurs-P2 satellites—that allegedly depict thousands of ISIS oil tankers headed for a Turkish port. At least, that was the Russian claim. Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, denied the allegation in no uncertain terms. “Shame on you—those who claim we buy oil from Daesh are obliged to prove it,” Erdogan said, using a slang term for ISIS. “If not, you are a slanderer.”

Whatever the truth, the imagery is a stark reminder that Russia’s campaign in Syria isn’t just an air, ground, and sea war. Moscow’s Middle East intervention also extends hundreds of miles into space.