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Speech of the Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Lt.Gen. Sergei Rudskoy

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It will be impossible to achieve a real victory against ISIS without shutting down its sources of funding.

As Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov has already mentioned, illegal oil trade is the main source of income for terrorists.

To terminate this source of funding, the Russian Aerospace Forces have been delivering airstrikes on oil extraction, storage, refining and transportation facilities in ISIS-controlled areas.

Over the past two months, Russian air strikes have inflicted damage on 32 oil production facilities, 11 refineries and 23 oil pumping stations. A total of 1,080 tanker trucks carrying oil and petroleum products have been destroyed.

This has enabled us to reduce the illegal oil turnover in Syria by almost 50 percent.

According to the most conservative estimates, the terrorist group’s revenues from its illegal oil operations have gone down from $3 million to $1.5 million a day. Multiply that figure by 4 years. After Russian strikes the terrorists’ income has decreased and constitutes 1,5 million dollars a day.

However, terrorist organizations continue to receive considerable financial resources, as well as weapons, ammunition and other supplies for their activities. Certain nations, primarily Turkey, are directly involved in Islamic State’s large-scale business project, thereby aiding the terrorists.

The General Staff of the Russian Federation Armed Forces has irrefutable evidence of Turkey’s involvement based on aerial and space reconnaissance data.

Today only a part of available information is to be presented.

We have identified three main oil transportation routes from ISIS-controlled Syrian and Iraqi territories into Turkey.

The Western route leads to the Mediterranean ports, the Northern route leads to the Batman oil refinery and the Eastern one ends at a large transshipment base in Cizre.

We will show you the entire chain of oil supplies into Turkey, from extraction to refining facilities.

Along the Western route, hydrocarbons produced from the oil fields near Al-Raqqah are transported to the north-west of Syria by motor vehicles.

The image made on November 13, 2015 shows the stretch of the highway near the town of Azaz linking Turkey and Syria where you can see a concentration of vehicles carrying petroleum products.

The area “A”, located on the Turkish side, shows 240 oil tanker trucks and semi-trailer vehicles. In the area “B”, located at the Syrian side, you can see 46 oil tanker trucks and vehicles waiting to cross the border.

According to available data, a number of tanker trucks are disguised as simple heavy vehicles.

Similar map can be seen near Reyhanli

Despite the fighting in the Aleppo province, you can see a constant two-way flow of motor vehicles, as well as a large amount of motor vehicles on Turkish territory.

The video shows vehicles, which are freely crossing of the border. Here the Syrian territory is controlled by the Jabhat al-Nusra illegal armed grouping, which allow the oil tanker trucks and heavy vehicles with oil to enter the territory of Turkey. These vehicles are not checked at the Turkish side of the border. There are hundreds of such vehicles.

Heavy vehicles are crossing Syrian-Turkish border with no restrictions near Reyhanli

The image taken on November 16 shows up to 360 oil tanker trucks and heavy vehicles close to the Syrian border.

Up to 160 oil tanker trucks that just crossed the border are located in area “B”. In the direction of the checkpoint located in the area “A”, a convoy of 100 vehicles is heading to the Syrian border.

Space reconnaissance data confirmed that after crossing the border oil tank trucks and semi-trailers are heading to the ports of Dörtyol and Iskenderun, where special mooring places for tankers are equipped. There, one part of the oil is loaded into the vessels and is sent to oil proceeding facilities beyond the borders of Turkey. The other is sold on the domestic Turkish market. On average, one tanker is loaded with oil in these ports every day.

The space images of this ports dated November 25, 2015, show a concentration of petrol tank vehicles, which are waiting for shipment.

395 petrol tank vehicles were detected in Dörtyol, and 60 in Scanderoon.

The next route leads to Turkey from the oil fields located at the Euphrates right bank. The region near Deir ez-Zor is one of the largest oil extracting and oil refining centers that is currently under the ISIS control

A large number of oil refining facilities is located here, one of them can been seen at the screen.

In this region, a concentration of petrol tank vehicles awaiting shipment is constantly registered. Photos of automobile columns with little distance between each other are presented.

In the area of Deir-ez-Zor, space intelligence means detected 1722 oil transporting vehicles on October 18, 2015. Most vehicles were on the unequipped parking areas.

It is worth mentioning that the number of trucks at waiting areas, located in Deir-ez-Zor as well as in other Syrian regions has been significantly decreased since the beginning of the operation carried out by the Russian Aerospace Forces against the ISIS oil infrastructure.

There is no need to speak about ecology consequences of barbarian oil production.

Terrorists built oil lakes in the sand. One of them is located in Raqqah.

After being loaded with oil, columns of trucks are moving from the Eastern regions of Syria to Kamisli border town and waiting for their turn.

The presented photos, which were made this August, demonstrate hundreds of oil trucks and heavy vehicles moving both to and from the Turkish border.

Finally, the most part of oil is being transferred from the Eastern Syria to a large oil refinery plant in Batman (Turkey), which is located 100-kilometers far from the Syrian border.

The third oil transportation route to Turkey is laid from oil fields located in the North-East of Syria and North-Western areas of Iraq through Karachok and Cham Khanik Syrian towns and Zakho and Tatvan Iraqi ones.

The photos demonstrate concentration areas of trucks and heavy vehicles located near these towns.

On 28 November, 50 oil trucks were registered near Karachok on the territory of oil transferring point.

The photo demonstrates waiting areas of oil trucks located at the Syrian-Iraqi borderline near Cham Khanik. There were registered 380 vehicles in August. Everything has remained the same.

Reconnaissance is still registering movement of a large number of tanker vehicles crossing the Turkish and Iraqi borders. Even more tanker vehicles are registered on the Iraqi-Turkish border. Their amount has not decreased for the last three months.

Therefore, footage, dating from November 14, allowed detecting 1,104 oil trucks and heavy vehicles near Zakho and Tatvan.

They can’t fail to be noticed.

However, there have not been any strikes on these columns from the coalition party. Only significant increase in the number of strategic UAVs is being observed.

Taking into consideration the fact that there are no strikes by the US-led coalition, the coordinates of active concentration areas with tanker trucks near certain inhabited areas will be published on the Russian Defence Ministry web-site after the briefing.

Then the trucks are crossing the borderline near Zakho with no restriction. Oil products are transported from Zakho to refinery plants. The nearest one is located in Batman. Oil products can be also transported to the large logistics center of the route, which is located close to the border between Iraq and Turkey, near Silopi.

The photo taken from the space on November 14 demonstrates presence of 3,220 oil trucks and vehicles. There is no need in further comments. The scale of the illegal business are truly impressive.

In total, in their illegal oil business, terrorists are using no less than 8,500 trucks transporting up to 200,000 tons of oil every day. Most of the vehicles are entering the Turkish territory from Iraq.

The Russian aviation group will continue performing tasks concerning liquidating oil infrastructure facilities of the ISIS terrorist organization in the Syrian Arab Republic. The Russian Defence Ministry also encourages the coalition colleagues to such actions. 

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