Turkey’s 2014 surge of exports to Syria coincided with surge of of ISISJuly 10, 2015
A recent research paper on the Syrian economy included an instructive revelation. Chatham House fellow Hayder al-Khoei drew special attention in a tweet to the off-hand but crucial finding in the report: that Syria’s economy grew 80 percent in 2014 due to a spike in Turkish imports that coincided with the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Specifically, the report found:
… It is not clear what caused this surge in Turkish exports, but it coincided with the height of the advances by ISIS in both Iraq and Syria, and some of the additional sales could have been accounted for by additional procurement from Turkey by ISIS – for example steel pipes and sections for oil refining projects… (p. 26)
It won’t be proven in a court of law, but it is clear what Chatham House is suggesting. It is clear what readers will take from this. And it has been clear for some time that ISIS would not have been able to surge to such a dominant position in Iraq without extensive cross-border Turkish support. Money Jihad reported on the very phenomenon of Turkey’s contributions to ISIS almost to the day one year ago.
Hat tip to Moscow Ghost.