Russia actually working with ISIL on energy project
Officially, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government and his Russian allies are at war against the Islamic State. But a gas facility in northern Syria under the control of the jihadi group is evidence that business links between the Syrian regime and the Islamic State persist. According to Turkish officials and Syrian rebels, it is also the site of cooperation between the Islamic State and a Russian energy company with ties to President Vladimir Putin.This is happening while Putin is accusing Turkey of collaborating with ISIL on the purchase of its stolen oil. It looks like some with ties to Putin are engaging in the same type of commerce with the enemy.
The Tuweinan gas facility, which is located roughly 60 miles southwest of the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa, is the largest such facility in Syria. It was built by Russian construction company Stroytransgaz, which is owned by billionaire Gennady Timchenko, a close associate of Putin. The company’s link to the Kremlin is well-documented: The U.S. Treasury Departmentpreviously sanctioned Stroytransgaz, along with the other Timchenko-owned companies, for engaging in activities “directly linked to Putin” amidst the confrontation over Ukraine.
The story of the controversial plant involves the Assad regime, Russian-Syrian businessmen, the Islamic State, and moderate Syrian groups, which together tried to activate the facility for the financial and logistical benefits it could provide for them.