A new drastic escalation in the Syria war has just started with the Turkish military’s downing of a Russian Su-24 fighter jet over Syria with the explanation that it had violated Turkish airspace. This took place just days after threatening Moscow with “serious consequences” if it continued bombing ISIS in Syria.
From the first days of the Syrian crisis, Turkey was the main gate to send fighters and weapons to Syria. The Turkish government has been consistent in pursuing its own agenda, which started with supporting the Islamic armed groups against the Syrian government. That includes al-Qaeda’s affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, which shares many of its aspirations for a fundamentalist caliphate with ISIS.
Previously, Turkey claimed to be the defender of the Syrian people and their dreams, but held a rather more worrisome agenda. Here are some facts to confirm — with no doubt — that ISIS is a PARTNER (not enemy) to Turkey, which means of course that fighting the terrorist group is not really on Turkey’s agenda.
1. Turkey’s Support to the Extreme Islamic Groups Started from the First Days of the Syrian Crisis
In July 2011, a group of people who escaped the Syrian army announced the birth of the so-called “Free Syrian Army” under the supervision of Turkish military intelligence. Turkey offered them shelter and considered imposing no-fly zones to assist the so-called “rebels” and serve as a base of their operations to topple President Bashar al-Assad – all done with the help of the United States.
The rebels admitted that Turkey is not only supplying then with weapons but is also training them in order to be sent back to Syria. Large consignments of AK-47s were also reportedly delivered by the Turkish military to the Syrian-Turkish border. (Source)
2. Turkey Not Only Didn’t Stop Weapons Transferring to Syria, But Even Offered More With Logistical Support Too
Some time ago, the Turkish opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet published videos and photos showing a secret services weapons shipment to the Syrian rebels. The report said that a convoy of trucks was stopped and searched by local authorities near the border with Syria in January 2014. (Source)
— cumhuriyet.com.tr (@cumhuriyetgzt) May 29, 2015
Moreover, Turkish military admitted that Turkey’s national intelligence service (MIT) shipped weapons to al-Qaeda in Syria, according to Al-Monitor report.
“When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was prime minister, he had said, ‘You cannot stop the MIT truck. You cannot search it. You don’t have the authority. These trucks were taking humanitarian assistance to Turkmens.’ ”
The Turkish newspaper Radikal reported on June 13, 2014, that Interior Minister Muammar Guler signed a directive:
“According to our regional gains, we will help al-Nusra militants against the branch of PKK terrorist organization, the PYD, within our borders…Hatay is a strategic location for the mujahideen crossing from within our borders to Syria. Logistical support for Islamist groups will be increased, and their training, hospital care, and safe passage will mostly take place in Hatay…MIT and the Religious Affairs Directorate will coordinate the placement of fighters in public accommodations.” (Source – in Turkish) (Source)
According to the same report by Huffington Post:
“Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), produced a statement from the Adana Office of the Prosecutor on October 14, 2014 maintaining that Turkey supplied weapons to terror groups. He also produced interview transcripts from truck drivers who delivered weapons to the groups. According to Kiliçdaroglu, the Turkish government claims the trucks were for humanitarian aid to the Turkmen, but the Turkmen said no humanitarian aid was delivered.”
Dr. Nafeez Ahmed has recently summed up many (but certainly not all) of the Turks’ connection to ISIS in his recent article labeled: “NATO Is Harbouring The Islamic State.” He writes:
“Authenticated official documents of the Turkish military were leaked online, showing that Turkey’s intelligence services had been caught in Adana by military officers transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition via truck ‘to the al-Qaeda terror organization’ in Syria.” According to other reports, ‘Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu ordered a media blackout after the military’s Gendarmerie General Command discovered around 50 rockets, 35 crates of ammunition, including mortar rounds, and Douchka anti-aircraft ammunition hidden inside Syria-bound trucks operated by Turkey’s intelligence agency.’ ” (Source)
3. Turkey and So-called “Rebels” (Before Being ISIS) Were Behind Sarin Attacks in Syria
The American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh stated in the London Review of Books that ISIS conducted Sarin attacks in Syria, and that Turkey was informed. More and more reports came after Hersh’s declaration that confirm this. (Source) (Source) (Source) This attack was supposed to be used as a false flag operation in order to start a war with Syria.
4. Turkey Even Trained ISIS Fighters in Special Bases
Aaron Klein of WND reported: “…After training in Turkey, thousands of ISIS fighters went to Iraq by way of Syria to join the effort to establish an Islamic caliphate subject to strict Islamic law, or Shariah.” (Source) (Source) (Source) On the other side, a Turkish politician released information about active duty Turkish soldiers training ISIS members.
5. Suspicious Role During ISIS Attack on Kobani
As ISIS captured more than a third of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani in October 2014, the Turkish tanks and infantry were watching, doing nothing to stop ISIS, according to many reports. (Source) (Source)
The co-leader of Turkey’ pro-Kurdish party reportedly said that the “massacre” in the Syrian town of Kobani was the result of the Turkish government’s years of support for ISIS militants. (Source) (Source) (Source)
Anwar Moslem, Mayor of Kobani, said on September 19, 2014: “Based on the intelligence we got two days before the breakout of the current war, trains full of forces and ammunition, which were passing by north of Kobane, had an-hour-and-ten-to-twenty-minute-long stops in these villages: Salib Qaran, Gire Sor, Moshrefat Ezzo. There are evidences, witnesses, and videos about this. Why is ISIS strong only in Kobane’s east? Why is it not strong either in its south or west? Since these trains stopped in villages located in the east of Kobane, we guess they (Turkey) had brought ammunition and additional force for the ISIS.” (Source) (Source)
6. Gen. Wesley Clark Admits Who Created and Supported ISIS
In his interview with CNN, Gen. Wesley Clark, the former NATO supreme allied commander, replied to a question about the takedown of a Russian fighter jet by pointing out that Turkey is supporting ISIS. He added: ““Someone’s buying that oil that ISIS is selling, it’s going through somewhere, it looks to me like it’s probably going through Turkey.” (Source)
Actually, this is not the first time for Gen. Clark to reveal such facts. He informed us before about what he called “our closest allies in the Middle East” (referring to Turkey and other Gulf countries) and how they had helped create ISIS — the organization that US is spending billions of dollars to fight!
7. US Vice-President Joe Biden Blamed Turkey for Allowing the Rise of ISIS
As we have discussed in a previous article about how the US sent ISIS to Syria, US Vice-President Joe Biden has blamed Turkey and Qatar for allowing the rise of ISIS, saying they supported extremists with money and weapons in their continual efforts to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Biden said: “The Turks… the Saudis, the Emirates, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tonnes of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad – except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda, and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world. “
8. ISIS Fighters are Getting Medical Care in Turkish Hospitals
Backing to Kobani: Esra Yakar was a Kurdish doctor who went to Kobani as a volunteer doctor to help treat Kurds wounded in the fighting with IS militants. In December 2014, she suffered heavy wounds to her head and right eye during an attack by ISIS. “After Yakar was finally taken to a hospital in Ankara, the prosecutors in Diyarbakir launched an investigation against her. And while still under medical treatment, she was arrested and jailed in the Sincan prison in Ankara for being a ‘terrorist.’ ” (Source) Meanwhile, authorities in Turkey have confirmed reports on social media which suggest that an injured Islamic State commander who was born in Turkey is being treated in a Denizli hospital, saying the militant has every right to receive medical care as he is a Turkish citizen. (Source)
On August 12, 2014, another ISIS commander told the Washington Post:
“We used to have some fighters — even high-level members of the Islamic State — getting treated in Turkish hospitals.”
However, this was confirmed by Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat, a founder of the AKP, who reportedly said that Turkey supported terrorist groups and still supports them and treats them in hospitals.
“In order to weaken the developments in Rojova (Syrian Kurdistan), the government gave concessions and arms to extreme religious groups…the government was helping the wounded. The Minister of Health said something such as, it’s a human obligation to care for the ISIS wounded.” (Source – in Turkish)
According to the same source:
“Ahmet El H, one of the top commanders at ISIS and Al Baghdadi’s right hand man, was treated at a hospital in Sanliurfa, Turkey, along with other ISIS militants. The Turkish state paid for their treatment.”
Hurriyet Daily News also published a photograph of ISIS commander Abu Muhammad in a hospital bed receiving treatment for battle wounds in Hatay State Hospital in April 2014. (Source)
9. Fake Turkish Passports for ISIS Fighters
The Turkish daily Today’s Zaman reported that “more than 100,000 fake Turkish passports” had been given to ISIS.
Today’s Zaman added:
“Erdogan’s government has been accused of supporting the terrorist organization by turning a blind eye to its militants crossing the border and even buying its oil… Based on a 2014 report, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said that ISIL terrorists fighting in Syria have also been claimed to have been treated in hospitals in Turkey.” (Source)
10. ISIS Terrorists Showed in Public Places Inside Turkey
The following video shows alleged ISIS members using public transportation in Istanbul, Turkey, without concern for local authorities. The men were calm and relaxed in public.
On 24 July 2015, the MailOnline published a report about an ISIS fighter who was spending his holiday on the beach at a resort in Turkey. (I suggest you read the full report on MailOnline.)
11. ISIS T-Shirts and Clothes Went on Sale in Turkish Shops
Fox News reported that a newly-opened Islamic shop in Istanbul’s working-class suburb of Bagcilar has started selling garments displaying the logo of ISIS.
“At least one clothing shop was found in Bagcilar, a working class district near the outskirts of Istanbul, selling T-shirts, hats, cargo pants and bandanas with Islamic State imagery.” (Source) (Source) (Source)
Moreover, locals claimed that everything from the clothes ISIS militants wear to their guns comes from Turkey. (Source – In Turkish)
12. Turkey Supports ISIS Financially Through Purchase of Oil
According to Ali Ediboglu, a lawmaker for the border province of Hatay from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), ISIS has been selling smuggled Syrian oil in Turkey worth $800 million.
ISIS trucks are routinely allowed to cross back and forth between the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa and Turkey. A former ISIS communications technician also told Newsweek that part of his job was to, “Connect ISIS field captains and commanders from Syria with people in Turkey on innumerable occasions.” (Source)
Quoting from Huffington Post:
“On September 13, 2014, The New York Times reported on the Obama administration’s efforts to pressure Turkey to crack down on ISIS extensive sales network for oil. James Phillips, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, argues that Turkey has not fully cracked down on ISIS’s sales network because it benefits from a lower price for oil, and that there might even be Turks and government officials who benefit from the trade.” (Source)
“Fehim Taştekin wrote in Radikal on September 13, 2014 about illegal pipelines transporting oil from Syria to nearby border towns in Turkey. The oil is sold for as little as 1.25 liras per liter. Taştekin indicated that many of these illegal pipelines were dismantled after operating for 3 years, once his article was published.” (Source)
“On October 14, 2014, a German Parliamentarian from the Green Party accused Turkey of allowing the transportation of arms to ISIS over its territory, as well as the sale of oil.” (Source)
Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev reportedly said on 25 Nov, 2015:
“Some Turkish officials have ‘direct financial interest’ in the oil trade with the terrorist group Islamic State.” (Source)
13. Is Erdogan’s Son the Real ISIS Oil Minister?
Bilal Erdogan is the third child of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the current President of Turkey. Lately, many reports have discussed his involvement in buying oil from ISIS:
“Bilal Erdogan owns several maritime companies. He has allegedly signed contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to different Asian countries. The Turkish government buys Iraqi plundered oil which is being produced from the Iraqi seized oil wells. Bilal Erdogan’s maritime companies own special wharfs in Beirut and Ceyhan ports that are transporting ISIS’ smuggled crude oil in Japan-bound oil tankers.” (Source)
Moscow, from its side, also accused Turkey of helping ISIS in the illegal oil trade and said that this act helps finance the terrorist group.
“Turkish social media has posted photos of Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s son Necmettin Bilal having dinner in an Istanbul restaurant with an alleged ISIS leader, who it is claimed participated in massacres in Syria’s Homs and Rojava, the Kurdish name for Syrian Kurdistan or Western Kurdistan.” (Source) (Source) (Source)
— Dilxaz Sofiyan (@Dilxazsofi) September 20, 2014
Brandon Turbeville wrote:
“Clearly, the Turkish agenda is not focused on combating ISIS. If it was, the Turks would have long ago sealed their borders with Syria as well as ceased their training and facilitation of terrorist groups flowing into Syria from Turkish territory.” (Source)
John Wight, well-known journalist and regular commentator on RT, sees that Turkey is a good example of the West’s duplicity towards ISIS. He wrote:
“A murky relationship has long existed between Ankara, ISIS, al Nusra, and other jihadi groups operating in Syria. Indeed, on the most basic level, without their ability to pass back and forth across the Turkish border at will, those groups could not have operated as easily and effectively as they had until Russia intervened.” (Source)
Arming groups/fighters in order to fight the legal governments in other countries is, essentially, a flagrant disregard of the Charter of the United Nations, international law, and terrorism-related Security Council resolutions.
Do you think the world is serious about fighting ISIS? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.
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