Russia says it has proof Turkey involved in Islamic State oil trade

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Russia's defence ministry said on Wednesday it had proof that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his family were benefiting from the illegal smuggling of oil from Islamic State-held territory in Syria and Iraq.

Moscow and Ankara have been locked in a war of words since last week when a Turkish air force jet shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Russian border, the most serious incident between Russia and a NATO state in half a century.

In a briefing in Moscow, defence ministry officials displayed satellite images which they said showed columns of tanker trucks loading with oil at installations controlled by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and then crossing the border into neighbouring Turkey.

See the satellite images:

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Russia says Turkey involved in Islamic State oil trade
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Russia says it has proof Turkey involved in Islamic State oil trade
Russia's top military officials hold a press conference on the fight against terrorism in Syria at the National Defence Control Centre of the Russian Federation in Moscow on December 2, 2015. Russia's defence ministry on December 2 accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family of involvement in illegal oil trade with Islamic State jihadists, as a dispute rages over Ankara's downing of one of Moscow's warplanes. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia's top military officials hold a press conference on the fight against terrorism in Syria at the National Defence Control Centre of the Russian Federation in Moscow on December 2, 2015. Russia's defence ministry on December 2 accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family of involvement in illegal oil trade with Islamic State jihadists, as a dispute rages over Ankara's downing of one of Moscow's warplanes. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia's top military officials hold a press conference on the fight against terrorism in Syria at the National Defence Control Centre of the Russian Federation in Moscow on December 2, 2015. Russia's defence ministry on December 2 accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family of involvement in illegal oil trade with Islamic State jihadists, as a dispute rages over Ankara's downing of one of Moscow's warplanes. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
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The officials did not specify what direct evidence they had of the involvement of Erdogan and his family, an allegation that the Turkish president has vehemently denied.

"Turkey is the main consumer of the oil stolen from its rightful owners, Syria and Iraq. According to information we've received, the senior political leadership of the country - President Erdogan and his family - are involved in this criminal business," said Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov.

"Maybe I'm being too blunt, but one can only entrust control over this thieving business to one's closest associates."

"In the West, no one has asked questions about the fact that the Turkish president's son heads one of the biggest energy companies, or that his son has been appointed energy minister. What a marvellous family business!"

"The cynicism of the Turkish leadership knows no limits. Look what they're doing. They went into someone else's country, they are robbing it without compunction," Antonov said.

The ministry also alleged that the same criminal networks which were smuggling oil from Islamic State-held areas into Turkey were also supplying weapons, equipment and training to the militant group.

Officials said that the Russian air force's bombing campaign had made a significant dent in Islamic State's ability to produce, refine and sell oil.

Erdogan last week denied that Turkey procures oil from anything but legitimate sources. He has said Ankara is taking active steps to prevent smuggling of fuel, and he challenged anyone who accused his government of collaborating with Islamic State to prove their allegations.

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What life looks like under ISIS rule
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Russia says it has proof Turkey involved in Islamic State oil trade
A civilian woman carries her child during a battle with Islamic State militants, east of Mosul, Iraq, January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Civilians walk past Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) during a battle with Islamic State militants, east of Mosul, Iraq, January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
A displaced man, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul, carries a woman in the Mithaq district of eastern Mosul, Iraq, January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Smoke rises from clashes during a battle with Islamic State militants in the Mithaq district of eastern Mosul, Iraq, January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
An Iraqi soldier is seen during a battle with Islamic State militants, north of Mosul, Iraq, December 30, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
Iraqi people flee the Islamic State stronghold in the town of Bartella, east of Mosul, December 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Awad TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Iraqi people flee the Islamic State stronghold in the town of Bartella, east of Mosul, December 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Iraqi rapid response forces cook food in their headquarters during the war against the Islamic state militants east of Mosul, Iraq, December 21, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
Mohammad Hassan, whose hand was chopped off by Islamic State militants, sits outside a house at Nimrud village, south of Mosul, Iraq, December 13, 2016. Picture taken December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Displaced Iraqi boys, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul, warm themselves by a fire in Khazer camp, Iraq,December 15, 2016.REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Displaced Iraqi woman, who fled the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul, bids her relatives farewell as she leave Khazer camp to go home, Iraq December 10, 2016.REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Iraqi Christians come to visit the heavily damaged Church of the Immaculate Conception after Iraqi forces recaptured it from Islamic State in Qaraqosh, near Mosul, Iraq, December 9, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
An Iraqi father (L) mourns the death of his son, who was killed during clashes in the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul, in al-Samah neighborhood, Iraq December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
An Iraqi girl, who was wounded during clashes in the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul, lies on a bed at a field hospital in al-Samah neighborhood, Iraq December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Displaced people who fled the clashes transfer to camps during a battle with Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, November 30, 2016 REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
A member of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) gestures in military vehicle during a battle with Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, November 30, 2016 REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A man gestures as other men sit on the ground as an Iraqi Special forces intelligence team check their ID cards as they search for Islamic State fighters in Mosul, Iraq November 27, 2016. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Two men hold hands as an Iraqi Special forces intelligence team searches for Islamic State fighters in Mosul, Iraq November 27, 2016. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Oilfields burned by Islamic State fighters are seen in Qayyara, south of Mosul, Iraq November 23, 2016. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Boys stand in front of oilfields burned by Islamic State fighters in Qayyara, south of Mosul, Iraq November 23, 2016. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Civilians flee fighting between Iraqi forces and Islamic State fighters in Mosul, Iraq, November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Smoke rises from clashes during a battle with Islamic State militants at the airport of Tal Afar west of Mosul, Iraq November 18, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
A member of Shi'ite fighters carries a weapon during a battle with Islamic State militants at the airport of Tal Afar west of Mosul, Iraq November 18, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
A displaced woman from the outskirts of Mosul covers herself in a blanket in the town of Bashiqa, after it was recaptured from the Islamic State, east of Mosul, Iraq, November 18, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily
A girl attends classes after the city was recaptured from the Islamic State militants in Qayyara, Iraq, November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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