Foreign Policy Diary ‘Turkey’ – ‘Rising of the threat’

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Western governments have been worrying for some time now that jihadists in Syria, who traveled there from Europe to fight Syrian forces, will be primed for terrorist attacks on targets in their countries of origin after they return home. However, it isn’t only Western Europe, but also NATO’s member Turkey is choosen by Islamic State’s militants as the target. Turkish security forces are worried now that the attack on March 20 in the Central Anatolian province of Nigde — by three ISIS members, according to government officials — in which a policeman, a non-commissioned gendarmerie officer and a truck driver were killed, and five soldiers were wounded, may be the start of further attacks in Turkey by ISIS. Also, recent media reports claime that an ISIS team comprising 20 militants had entered Turkey to carry out suicide attacks in Ankara and Istanbul as well as in Hatay province.

The Isis militant group is threatening the capture of its third major town in as many weeks, cementing its resurgence after months when it appeared to be on the back foot. On Sunday, fighters for the so-called “Islamic State” made significant advances in the northeast of Syria’s Aleppo province at the border with Turke for the first time since it lost the battle for Kobani to the Kurdish YPG at the end of January. According to local monitors, Islamic State captured the small town of Soran Azaz and two nearby villages after driving back an alliance that included factions of the Free Syrian Army and the Aleppo branch of the Islamic Front. Isis’s victories over the weekend, coming so soon after the collapses of the western Iraqi city of Ramadi and the central Syrian city of Palmyra, gave them access to a key road that leads north to the Bab al-Salam crossing with Turkey’s Kilis province, a major route for the passage of aid and goods. Moreover, the city of Azaz has also been a major arms route and commercial thoroughfare for hundreds of trucks carrying Turkish goods to areas in Aleppo and Idlib provinces. Islamic State’s expansion is continuing.

The tensions at the Turkey’s border has risen. Islamic State militants are heading to the border while US-led coalition failed to oppose them. For instance, US-led coalition air strikes haven’t already prevented Ramadi from falling into ISIS hands. Earlier in 2015, the Turkish intelligence service reported that up to 3,000 trained jihadists are seeking to cross into Turkey from Syria and Iraq, with intentions of striking diplomatic targets belonging to anti-ISIS coalition partners, the police in an internal memo. It is unclear how many of the jihadists have already penetrated the Turkish border, but MIT said that some have already been sheltered in safe houses in the south of the country.

On Tuesday, June 2, Foreign Ministers and members of the anti-Islamic State coalition meet in Paris, France, to discuss strategy in fighting the jihadists who have made key battlefield advances in recent weeks in Iraq and Syria. The interesting thing that so-called anti-Islamic State coalition includes the United States and France but not Russia, Iran or Syria. The second interesting fact that participants of the coalition Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar are all allied with the United States against the Islamic State and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In turn, Russia believe the US’s refusal to coordinate its airstrikes against purported ISIL targets in Syria with Damascus has been a “mistake,” saying such coordination is a must. [цитата] Washington’s obsession with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cannot be a common cause for fighting terrorism. ISIL terrorist activities could spread to far regions of the world if the group is not stopped. The clear exampe of this is Islamic State’s activity at the border with Turkey.

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