UNITED NATIONS (AP) – Russia has accused Turkey of supplying the Islamic State extremist group with components for improvised explosive devices.
Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said in a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon circulated Wednesday that the devices “are being widely used to commit terrorist acts.”
He said an analysis of chemical components of explosives captured from Islamists in the region of the Iraqi city of Tikrit and the Syrian city of Kobani, and a review of conditions for selling the components, “indicates that they were either manufactured in Turkey or delivered to that country without the right of re-export.”
Churkin accused five Turkish companies of delivering aluminum powder, ammonium nitrate, hydrogen peroxide and other material produced by various Turkish and foreign companies to the Islamic State group.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman in Ankara called the letter “the most recent example of Russia’s propaganda campaign against Turkey, and as such it cannot be taken seriously.”
Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Turkey, a major backer of Syria’s opposition, have been at odds during the five-year conflict. Tensions escalated following Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane near its border with Syria last November.
Russia retaliated by deploying long-range air defense missile systems to its base in Syria and imposed economic sanctions on Turkey. President Vladimir Putin has accused Turkey of “allowing terrorists to earn money by selling oil stolen from Syria,” and Russia’s top military brass accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family of personally profiting from oil trade with Islamic State militants.
Churkin said one notable feature of the explosive devices assembled by militants from the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, is the use of parts manufactured by U.S., Swiss and Swedish companies.
He said “detonation cords manufactured in third countries have been illegally resold through Turkey to ISIL fighters.”
“These facts demonstrate that the Turkish authorities are deliberately involved in ISIL activity, as they are providing access to components for improvised explosive devices that are being widely used to commit terrorist acts,” Churkin said.