Turkey refutes UN claim that ISIS smuggles weapons via Turkish soil
ANKARADec 30, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Dec 30, 2014 12:00 am
The Turkish Foreign Ministry have strongly refuted a UN report claiming that militant groups including the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the al-Nusra Front, smuggled weapons through Turkey.
Addressing a press briefing onTuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgic termed the allegations in the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Implementation Monitoring Team's report "baseless."
Bilgic said Turkey had designated both militant groups as "terrorist organizations" and the country was always part of international counter-terrorism groups in the struggle against ISIS. He also said that Turkey cooperated with the international community as well as the UN Analytic Support Group.
The UN monitoring team members visited Turkey in September, but during the visit they did not mention the allegation that Turkey was being used as a route to illegally smuggle weapons to ISIS.
The fight against the ISIS was discussed during the UN visit, but not these allegations, the spokesperson said.
"Everyone knows that ISIS has more military weapons, most of which were captured from Iraqi and Syrian armies. Especially, ISIS, which has gained a large part of Iraqi army's ammunition and weapons in Mosul," he said.
"We requested clarification from the UN and expressed our reaction strongly," he added.
Iraq has been gripped by a security vacuum since June, when the Islamic State of Iraq and the al-Sham stormed the northern province of Mosul and declared what it calls a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
A U.S.-led international coalition is carrying out airstrikes to support Kurdish and central Iraqi government security forces in their fight against the militant group.