I was reading yesterday an article stating that the US intended to switch strategy in Iraq/Syria, and target primarily the oil ressources of ISIS. Things like extraction and distribution systems, but also…convoys bringing oil to Turkey
I can understand crossing random borders discreetly with heroin hidden in your truck. I have a hard time understanding how a convoy of tank truks can cross a border unoticed in a war zone. And I have an equally hard time thinking that Turkey would have no issue with deliberatly letting in convoys of ISIS oil.
One answer given is based upon the old adage/fallacy. My enemy’s enemy is my friend. Turkey considers the Kurds to be the greater threat - especially given their desire for an independent state that would see a significant part of Turkey taken. So it is in Turkey’s interests to aid ISIS. Turkey prevented the PKK from taking Jarablus back from ISIS. Jarablus is on the border, and acts as the key supply route for ISIS. By leaving Jarablus in the hands of ISIS Turkey prevents the PKK - its perceived greater enemy from taking ground, and leaves ISIS with an easy route into Turkey.
Whether the Turkish government actively buy the oil, or just enjoy the economic benefit that a bit of cheap oil brings is another matter. But there is scant evidence that they oppose the trade.
I can’t answer your question but I can tell you that the US is aware of these oil tanker trucks. Rules of engagement currently forbid us from attacking them because the driver of the vehicle may be a civillian.
I saw a CNN piece recently of an allied attack on a an oil depot, including maybe 25 oil trucks lined up in a row. They apparently dropped leaflets and used loud speakers to warn the drivers away first, and then destroyed every one of them. 25 trucks in the greater scheme of things may not seem like a lot, but we certainly have a way of destroying them when we find them.
They also mentioned in the reporting that when they attack the oil centers they are often repaired in a few days. That doesn’t seem quite right to me since we should be able to completely destroy an oil center if we really want to. Perhaps there is some concern about the environmental damage that would cause… but I really doubt it.
Our leaders may have been hoping that they could drive IS out while leaving the oil infrastructure intact, so that it wouldn’t have to be completely rebuilt afterwards. Now, I think they will just bomb it all to rubble.
Turkey is also strategically important. It is a geographical, energy and cultural bridge between the Middle East and the West and has strong links with both Iran and Russia. It is also a member of NATO.
They also have their own problems with extremists and there is no way any of us in the West want to do anything that will encourage them.
According tothis recent Guardian opinion piece, the Turkish government has been tacitly supporting ISIS politically, economically, and even militarily. (You can read the same thing in a lot of other places. Is it not basically close to common knowledge?) Turkey regards its main enemies in Syria as being the YPG and Assad. If you are against (primarily) Assad and the YPG, and you decide to involve yourself in Syria, realistically who are you going to support…?
From another angle: ISIS allows trucks through from Assad-controlled Syria to the Kurdish region, preferring to tax them rather than to prevent them from crossing their territory, unless a real battle is currently underway. This is how it works on both sides.
There is a lot about ISIS that is hard for an outsider to understand at first, (and at second, and at third…)
Turkey is mostly Sunni sect of Islam.
Syrian population is mostly Sunni, while the Assad government is from the other branch, Shia.
There is the simple answer.
Anyhow, the trucks may come from Iraq and so on, and they would be considered to be economy building resources… as in the country may rebuild … repair… stop the civil war and the fighting… if they develop an economy so that one area, town or faction has an economic reliance on the other areas , towns and factions…
So allowing a black market can lead to peace…
The U.S. announced this strategy, because the Russians are bombing the hell out of ISIS oil infrastructure and transport. The U.S. was not doing much about ISIS oil revenue. To save face, they are now changing that.
Russia has made the U.S. force against ISIS look pitiful and mostly useless. So they have stepped up their game a bit. But still very selectively. Russia is starting in the west and moving east. With the Syrian armed forces responsible for ground attacks. Some strategic strikes more eastward as well. A sound strategy. Hopefully Iraq will step up as well. I believe Iraq has agreed to Russian air support as well as Iranian ground forces, to assist kicking ISIS back up into eastern Syria. Where Russia will bomb the hell out of them there too.