Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau
23 July, 2014
• U.S. Embassy in Ankara Headquarter for ISIS War on Iraq – Hariri Insider
By Christof Lehmann
• ISIS Unveiled: The Identity of the Insurgency in Syria and Iraq
By Christof Lehmann
• New caliph makes a murderous mockery of those of old
• Iraq’s obsession with Faisal II reflects its hunger for a lost era
By Faisal Al Yafai
• Turkey’s benign neglect helped spur the Islamic State’s rise
By Atilla Yesilada
U.S. Embassy in Ankara Headquarter for ISIS War on Iraq – Hariri Insider
By Christof Lehmann
22 June, 2014
The green light for the use of ISIS brigades to carve up Iraq, widen the Syria conflict into a greater Middle East war and to throw Iran off-balance was given behind closed doors at the Atlantic Council meeting in Turkey, in November 2013, told a source close to Saudi – Lebanese billionaire Saad Hariri, adding that the U.S. Embassy in Ankara is the operation’s headquarter.
A “trusted source” close to the Saudi – Lebanese multi-billionaire and former Lebanese P.M. Saad Hariri told on condition of anonymity, that the final green light for the war on Iraq with ISIS or ISIL brigades was given behind closed doors, at the sidelines of the Atlantic Council’s Energy Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, on November 22 – 23, 2013.
The Atlantic Council is one of the most influential U.S. think tanks with regard to U.S. and NATO foreign policy and geopolitics. Atlantic Council President Frederick Kempe stressed the importance of the Energy Summit and the situation in the Middle East before the summit in November, saying:
“We view the current period as a turning point, just like 1918 and 1945. Turkey is in every way a central country, as a creator of regional stability. However much the USA and Turkey can work in unison that is how effective they will be.”
The summit was, among others, attended by Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernst Monitz, Atlantic Council President Frederick Kempe, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and former U.S. National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft.
It is noteworthy that Scowcroft has long-standing ties to Henry Kissinger and to the Minister of Natural Resources of the Kurdish Administrated Region of Northern Iraq.
“Had Baghdad been more cooperative about the Syrian oil fields at Deir-Ez-Zor in early 2013 and about autonomy for the North [Iraq's northern, predominantly Kurdish region] they would possibly not have turned against al-Maliki; Or he would have been given more time”, said the Hariri insider during the almost two-hour-long conversation.
In March 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanded that Iraq “stops the arms flow to Syria”, while U.S. weapons were flowing to ISIS via Saudi Arabia into Iraq and Jordan.
On Monday, April 22, 2013, 27 of the 28 E.U. foreign ministers agreed to lift the ban on the import of Syrian oil from opposition-held territories to allow the “opposition” to finance part of its campaign.
“ISIS that was supposed to control [the region around] Deir Ez-Zor
[Turkish Energy Minister Taner] Yildiz and [Kurdish] Energy Minister Ashti] Hawrami were to make sure the oil could flow via the Kirkuk – Ceyhan [pipeline];… Ankara put al-Maliki under a lot of pressure about the Kurdish autonomy and oil, too much pressure, too early, if you’d ask me”, the source said. He added that the pressure backfired.
Previous reports confirmed that Baghdad started intercepting weapons and insurgents along the Saudi – Iraqi border, cutting off important supply lines for ISIS brigades around Deir Ez-Zor, and that Al-Maliki began complaining about a Saudi – Qatari-backed attempt to subvert the Iraqi State since late 2012. Noting my remark he replied:
“That is right, but the heavy increase in attacks came in May – June 2013, after al-Maliki ordered the military to al-Anbar “.
A previous article in nsnbc explains how Baghdad’s blockade caused problems in Jordan, because many of the transports of weapons, fighters and munitions had to be rerouted via Jordan.
The Hariri insider added that the oil fields should have been under ISIS control by August 2013, but that the plan failed for two reasons. The UK withdrew its support for the bombing of Syria. That in turn enabled the Syrian army to dislodge both ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusrah from Deir Ez-Zor in August.
“The situation was a disaster because in June Hariri, Yidiz, Hawrami, Scowcroft, and everybody was ready to talk about how to share the oil between the U.S., Turkey and E.U.. The Summit in November should have dealt with a fait accompli”, the Hariri source stressed, adding that Washington put a gun to al-Maliki’s head when he was invited to the White House.
Both the President of the Kurdish region of Iraq, Masoud Barzani and Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki were invited to Washington in early November 2013.
“Certain circles in Washington put a hell of a lot of pressure on Obama to put a gun to al-Maliki’s head”, said the Hariri source, adding that “time was running out and Obama was hesitant”. Asked what he meant with “time was running out” and if he could specify who it was that pushed Obama, he said:
“Barzani was losing his grip in the North (Kurdish Iraq); the election [in September] was a setback. All plans for distributing Iraqi oil via Turkey and for sidelining Baghdad were set between Kirkuk and Ankara in early November…
“Who exactly pressured Obama? I don’t know who delivered the message to Obama. I suspect Kerry had a word. It’s more important from where the message came, Kissinger, Scowcroft, Nuland and the Keagan clan, Stavridis, Petreaus, Riccardione, and the neo-con crowd at the [Atlantic] Council. … As far as I know ´someone` told Obama that he’d better pressure al-Maliki to go along with Kurdish autonomy by November or else. Who exactly ´advised` Obama is not as important as the fact that those people let him know that they would go ahead, with, or without him”.
Asked whether he knew details, how the final green light for the ISIS campaign was given, he said:
” Behind closed doors, in the presence of both Scowcroft, Hariri, and a couple of other people”. To my question “if he could be more specific” he replied “I could; I want to stay alive you know; Riccardione was tasked with the operation that day”.
Noting that a prominent member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family, Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal has been named as the one being “in command” of the ISIS brigades, and if he could either confirm or deny, he nodded, adding that “the Prince” is responsible for financing the operation and for part of the command structure, but that the operations headquarter is the U.S. Embassy in Ankara Turkey. “As far as I know, nothing moves without Ambassador Riccardione”, he added.
ISIS Unveiled: The Identity of the Insurgency in Syria and Iraq
By Christof Lehmann
15 June, 2014
The ISIS/ISIL offensive of June 2014 in Iraq and any political or military responses to it cannot be understood without first “unveiling ISIS”. ISIS/ISIL brigades seized Iraq’s northern city of Mosul and most of western Iraq within days. Iraqi military withdrew from Iraq’s second-largest city after no more than token resistance. Unveiling ISIS, all trails lead to the royal house of Saud, CIA headquarters, and their shared network for global mercenary and terrorist operations called Al-Qaeda.
Origin of ISIS/ISIL as Al-Qaeda in Iraq – Weaving the Veil of ISIS
ISIS / ISIL is a successor organization of the former Al-Qaeda in Iraq, allegedly established by Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi. Al Baghdadi, however, was a creation of Al-Qaeda, a publicity figure with the function to endow the Saudi-U.S. creation “Al-Qaeda” with an Iraqi face, whom radicalized Iraqi Sunni Muslims, could identify with.
Dean Yates reports in a Reuters article dated July 18, 2007:
A senior operative for al Qaeda in Iraq who was caught this month has told his U.S. military interrogators a prominent al Qaeda-led group is just a front and its leader fictitious, a military spokesman said on Wednesday.
Brigadier-General Kevin Bergner told a news conference that Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq, which was purportedly set up last year, did not exist.
The Islamic State of Iraq was established to try to put an Iraqi face on what is a foreign-driven network, Bergner said. The name Baghdadi means the person hails from the Iraqi capital.
One of the persons behind the al-Baghdadi brand was the Egyptian Abu Ayyub al-Masri, a close aide to and successor of Al-Qaeda’s Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi who was killed in a U.S. air strike on June 7, 2006. Al-Masri was politically active in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) where he joined Ayman al-Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad in 1982. He went on to the Osama Bin Laden run al-Farouk training camp in Afghanistan in 1999. He came to Iraq via the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in 2002.
ISIS reborn – Iraq closes Saudi smuggling routes in Al-Anbar Province, creating Saudi – Jordanian and Jordanian – U.S. tensions.
ISIS/ISIL had been relatively dormant in Iraq while some of its brigades became involved in the admittedly Saudi Arabia, U.S. and Qatar and Turkey sponsored war on Syria. Weapons, other logistic supplies and mercenaries for ISIS were predominantly transported from Saudi Arabia via smuggling routes in the Al-Anbar province.
The Iran-friendly Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was left “relatively” unchallenged by ISIS, that is Saudi Arabia and the U.S.’, until the Al-Maliki administration, in the autumn of 2012, decided to increase its military presence in Al-Anbar.
The objective was to stop the flow of arms and fighters from Saudi Arabia to Syria. Although there is no detailed documentation for it available, it is likely that both Damascus and Tehran lobbied Baghdad to secure the smuggling routes.
The closing of the smuggling routes led to increased tensions between Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United States. Shipments of weapons and fighters which previously were routed via Iraq to Syria had to be re-routed from Saudi Arabia via the Jordanian border town of Al-Mafraq.
U.S. troops and foreign fighters arrived in Al-Mafraq in late 2011. When traffic via al-Mafraq increased in late 2012 and early 2013, the situation in Jordan turned critical.
Jordanian Members of Parliament began to complain about the increased presence of U.S. troops, the flow of weapons via Jordan to Syria and the increased presence of foreign fighters.
In July 2013, the Deputy Speaker of the Jordanian Parliament, Khalil Atiya expressed his concerns about the increased presence of U.S. Troops in Jordan, saying:
” As deputies, representing the Jordanian people, we do not accept the United States or any other country’s troops in Jordan. Jordanians do not think that Syria could pose a threat”.
The head of the al-Kudsk Center for Political Studies, Oraib Rintavi stated in an interview with AFP:
“The Jordanians do not feel comfortable with the presence of U.S. troops and their weapons in the country. For the common people of Jordan, the U.S. military presence is associated with a conspiracy against Jordan´s neighbors. . . Society does not welcome Americans here, even if they say that they want to protect our country”.
Al-Maliki_June 2014The Al-Maliki Administrations Dilemma. The Decision that prompted the Rebirth of ISIS. As one can see, the administration of the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was confronted with a dilemma.
One option was to let Saudi Arabia use the smuggling routes via the Al-Anbar province to appease Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and Jordan while falling out with Iraqi Shia lobbies, Tehran and Damascus. The option would have bought al-Maliki time; at least until the eventual fall of Damascus.
The other option was to appease Damascus and Tehran by confronting the ISIS/ISIL militants in Al-Anbar, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and the western anti-Syrian alliance.
iran_iraq_syria_pipeline Two factors may have contributed to the al-Maliki administrations decision for the second option.
One of the primary reasons for core GCC member’s, core NATO member’s and Israel’s decision to launch the war on Syria was their determination to prevent the completion of the Iran – Iraq – Syria gas pipeline from the Iranian PARS gas fields in the Persian Gulf to the eastern Mediterranean coast of Syria.
Al-Maliki must have known that Iraq would be next once Damascus would have fallen. The second is that the al-Maliki administration is closely aligned with Tehran and pro-Iranian, Shia lobbies in Iraq. Falling out with Tehran would have been equivalent to cutting ties with the only regional support the al-Maliki administration could count on.
IRAQ_ISIL_TROOPS The decision came in the autumn of 2012, when the Iraqi military was ordered to secure the smuggling routes in Al-Anbar and confront the Saudi – U.S. mercenaries, ISIS/ISIL.
In December, a senior Iraqi legislator issued a warning to media stressing that plots were being hatched by Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia against Iraq, calling on all Iraqi citizens to be vigilant.
A month earlier, P.M. al-Maliki warned that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are attempting to carry out:
“an Iraq style plot against Syria in an attempt to topple the government by deploying terrorists”.
480px-Joe_Biden_official_portrait_cropIn an interview with the Lebanese al-Mayyadeen satellite network, al-Maliki spelled out that a coup was planned against Iraq, saying:
” Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are meddling to topple the Syrian government, are now doing the same meddling to topple the Iraqi regime. Their goal is overthrowing the Iraqi government. Their goal is overthrowing the Iraqi ruling system and not overthrowing me”.
It is noteworthy that the U.S. think tank Stratfor, in 2002, suggested to divide Iraq into three states. Nouri al-Maliki and members of his administration must have been aware of the fact that U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden has endorsed this plan since 2002, when he still was a U.S. Senator.
ISIS and the Royal Family Of Saudi Arabia
The direct involvement of Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry and intelligence service in running al-Qaeda brigades in Syria, Iraq and beyond is well documented.
To mention one example; the founder and supreme commander of Liwa-al-Islam, which was directly involved in the chemical weapons attack on the Damascus suburb East Ghouta on August 21, 2013, Zahran Alloush, has been working for Saudi intelligence since the 1980s.
ISIS/ISIL is under the direct command of members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family. January 2014, Al-Arabiya published an article and video, featuring the interrogation of an ISIS fighter who had been captured in Syria. The article and the full video have since been removed, but the Saudi Arabia funded Institute for Gulf Affairs still has an excerpt of the video on its Youtube channel which was uploaded on January 22, 2014.
Briefly about the background
Saudi Arabian and Qatari proxy brigades have been involved in heavy infighting in Syria since 2012, leading ultimately to the near elimination of Qatari proxy brigades while Saudi brigades have gained the upper hand throughout Syria. Details about this infighting are explained in the article “Top-US and Saudi Officials responsible for Chemical Weapons in Syria”.
ISIS_captured_SyriaWhen questioned why ISIS is “shadowing the moved of the Free Syrian Army” and who had given the orders, the captured ISIS fighter states that he didn’t know why, but that the orders were given by Abu Faisal, also known as Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal, the brother of Prince Saud al-Faisal and Prince Turki al-Faisal.
Interrogator: Why do you (ISIS) monitor the movement of the Free Syrian Army?
ISIS Detainee: I don’t know exactly why but we received orders from ISIS command.
Interrogator: Who among ISIS gave the orders?
ISIS Detainee: Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal, who is also known as Abu Faisal.
The “supreme commander” of ISIS/ISIL is Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal, the royal Saudi family, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry and its intelligence service. ISIS Unveiled discloses a standard Saudi – U.S. – NATO – run intelligence operation and mercenary army. There is nothing “mysterious” about ISIS / ISIL. It is not even mysterious that western mainstream media fail to report the facts.
Bin laden and Zawahiri Pre-emptive Disclosure
Saudi and U.S. governments have a standard response to embarrassing public disclosures about prominent Saudis involvement in running mercenary / terrorism operations.
The example of Osama bin Laden is the prototype from which the standard model for disinformation campaigns was developed. Osama, the world is told, was “the black sheep” of the bin-Laden family. The veil of misinformation is held up by complicit mainstream media, including those who do most to convince their readers that they are no intelligence front, like “the guardian”.
Karakterschwein_Guardian_PigAfter the incidents on September 11, 2001, which became the justification for the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, under false claims, “the guardian” did what was expected of an MI5-6 infiltrated newspaper. October 12, 2001, the guardian published an interview with Osama bin-Laden brother Abdullah, titled “No brother of mine”. The guardian is letting Abdullah tell “the guardian’s readers:
“It is my understanding that in the early 90s the family repeatedly reached out and made attempts to plead with Osama to moderate his views,” Abdullah says. “After these attempts failed, there was a reluctant but unanimous consensus that Osama should be disowned.”
To preempt a similar disinformation campaign about ISIS / ISIL Chief Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal, let us clearly state that Prince Abdul, in no way, belongs to the “fringe” of the Saudi royal family.
The man who is commanding the 2014 Saudi – U.S. war on Iraq, has been Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Defense from 1978 to 2011. He is also the brother of Prince Saud al-Faisal and of Prince Turki al-Faisal.
Prince Saud al-Faisal has been the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia since October 13, 1975. He is also the second son of King Faisal. Turki al-Faisal has served as Saudi Arabia’s Director of Intelligence from 1979 to 2001. He has been Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to both the United States and to the United Kingdom. He resigned from his post as Director of Intelligence only days before the “terrorist” attacks in the U.S. on September 11, 2001.
Turki al-Faisal publicly blamed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki “for the loss of large parts of northern Iraq to terrorists”.
ISIS Unveiled – A Two-Headed Monster. We have unveiled ISIS, and ISIS Unveiled turned out to be a two-headed monster. Its body consists of volunteers, mercenaries and Saudi, Turkish and U.S. intelligence operatives and Special Forces. Its two heads are the royal family of Saudi Arabia and the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, U.S.A.
Any appraisal of any foreign, political or military intervention in Iraq without considering these facts would lead to the wrong conclusion. It is precisely therefore, that one will not find any of this information in other than fragmented form in any of the western or Gulf-Arab media.
Not long after the publication of this article, the author had a conversation with a person close to the former Lebanese PM Saad Hariri. During the conversation the Hariri-insider revealed the identity of a rogue network of prominent U.S. citizens centered around the Atlantic Council and high-ranking members of the Turkish, Iraqi-Kurdish and countries’ governments behind the ISIS campaign. For more information, read:
New Caliph Makes a Murderous Mockery of Those Of Old
By Peter Hellyer
July 21, 2014
It’s now nearly a month since the Islamic State group announced that it had declared a caliphate, proclaiming that its shadowy leader, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, was henceforth to be known as Caliph Ibrahim.
There’s been little evidence since of it engaging in much effort to extend its area of control in Iraq, although that could change. But it has begun making use of the weaponry captured in Iraq to launch a new offensive in Syria. One of the three Kurdish-controlled enclaves is under a fierce assault while fighting between the Islamic State group and another extremist body, the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat Al Nusra, has led to severe losses for the latter. There will no doubt be further developments, in which I hope the Islamic State will receive a bloody nose.
I am more concerned in this column, however, to compare the new “caliph” with those of old. What they offer, and offered, to the people within the domains they controlled is markedly different.
There is little evidence of other extremist groups rushing to declare their loyalty to the caliph, despite the exhortation in his initial public address that all should do so – and all Muslims as well.
Some other groups in Syria and Iraq appear to have done so, out of their own weakness, and perhaps as a result of fear about the well-documented practice of the Islamic State slaughtering its opponents in cold blood. There is not much sign that scholars, lawyers and others are rushing to join the new caliph.
Instead, the claim of Al Baghdadi to be the new caliph, the worthy successor of the caliphs of old, appears to have been met, for the most part, with derision among those far beyond his reach and with well-justified fear among those closer to hand.
In his public address, Caliph Ibrahim wore the traditional black robes of the Abbasid caliphs of early Islam. Perhaps, then, since he has encouraged the comparison, it’s worth comparing the state of the first and greatest Abbasid caliphs to the murderous mockery of their would-be successor.
The first Abbasid Caliph, Mansour, founded the city of Baghdad – the Medinat Al Salam, or City of Peace – in 762. It rapidly became, historians tell us, a magnificent new city where Arab and Persian Muslims, Jews, Christians and those of other faiths lived and worked together. During the reign of his grandson, Haroun Al Rashid, the palace was filled with musicians, scholars and philosophers. He sent envoys to bring back mathematical treatises from India and great books of ancient Greek learning from Byzantium the knowledge contained within them eventually making its way to Europe, where it sparked the Renaissance. He founded the legendary library, the Bayt Al Hikma (the House of Wisdom), and his realm flourished as a centre of science and culture as a spirit of religious tolerance pervaded the land. Those years marked the apogee of Arab-Islamic civilisation.
In contrast, what have we seen from Caliph Ibrahim and his black-clad, gun-toting followers? In Mosul, the largest city that the Islamic State group controls in Iraq, some mosques have been destroyed and shrines commemorating revered religious leaders, both Sunni and Shia, have been bulldozed. Crosses have been removed from churches, as thousands of members of the Christian minority, and of other ethnic and religious minorities, have fled to neighbouring Iraqi Kurdistan.
Last weekend, faced with an order to pay the Jizya tax or to convert, the last Christians left Mosul. Mass executions of unarmed captives have occurred, with the scenes of their killing being posted on social media to spread terror among those remaining within the reach of the Islamic State group.
I hold no brief for Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nouri Al Maliki, whose Shia sectarian policies have played a major role in deepening the divisions between the country’s Sunni and Shia communities, thereby creating the conditions that permitted the Islamic State group to sweep across much of the areas of Iraq with a Sunni Arab population. His intransigence has done much to allow the current situation to occur.
Caliph Ibrahim, however, in marked contrast to the enlightened caliphs of old, offers no solution to those who adhere to the essential principles of Islam and who look back with pride on the days when the Arab-Islamic civilisation was at its height. Instead, he offers a perversion of the faith and a promise of suffering and slaughter.
He is no religious leader, but a man whose name will go down in infamy.
Peter Hellyer is a consultant specialising in the UAE’s history and culture
Turkey’s Benign Neglect Helped Spur the Islamic State’s Rise
By Atilla Yesilada
Jul. 22, 2014
One night in 1995, I switched to CNN International to catch the evening news, and saw a long caravan of Toyotas driving toward a dusty city carrying solemn young men with flowing beards and Uzis. The Taliban had just entered the global scene. Its conquest of Afghanistan allowed Al-Qaeda to flourish, which led to 9/11 and triggered the ongoing war between Judeo-Christianity and Islam.
The echoes of the Taliban are now resonating loudly once again, right in the middle of the most fragile of Muslim geographies: Mesopotamia. The Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), since renamed the Islamic State, is not Al-Qaeda’s first attempt to plant itself in this region, but it may be the first successful one. And if ISIS becomes a permanent fixture of the Mesopotamian landscape, its former supporter, Turkey, will suffer the most.
The ISIS attack on Mosul recently quickly drew in the remnants of the Baathist-led Iraqi army and the long-suffering Sunni tribes, so that today in the country, we should be speaking about a Sunni uprising, rather than a terror event.
The Iraqi Army is ill-equipped to battle the terror-hardened veterans of ISIS or the Sunnis who are fighting to liberate their homeland from the iron grip of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The Kurds already grabbed their Jerusalem, Kirkuk, along with its vast reservoir of oil and gas, and will not waste a single drop of blood to liberate Mosul either.
So, for the foreseeable future, ISIS is here to stay, fueling Sunni rage against the Shiite population and Arab anger at Kurds. It also serves as the supreme terror-training academy for the rising number of disillusioned Muslims from the Western world.
An accurate report of how ISIS became a major regional actor has yet to be written, but Turkey is largely to blame. Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) did not create ISIS or orchestrate its rapid spread in Syria and Iraq, but it committed a bigger sin: benign neglect.
Living by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s philosophy that true Muslims can’t be terrorists, Ankara allowed thousands of jihadists from Libya and Chechnya to flood into Syria to combat Syrian President Bashar Assad.
State agencies provided health care, training grounds and fertile recruitment fields in the numerous refugee camps around the Syrian border, over which the United Nations has no supervision. Later, ISIS and its more moderate cousin, the Nusra Front, were used to punish the Kurds of Rojava, who had declared autonomy.
The incestuous relationship between Turkey, ISIS and Nusra became so blatant that the Pentagon cut off supplies to Syria’s northern front, fearing they would be routed away from the Free Syrian Army. It is fair to say that in his haste to depose Assad, Erdogan actually handed him a victory on a golden platter, as ISIS and Nusra turned against the FSA.
The AKP steadfastly denies these allegations, but the evidence is irrefutable. It comes from journalists who visited the border towns of Turkey. It comes from Turkey’s Muslim minority Alawites, who are increasingly the subject of hate crimes by jihadists and their Turkish followers. It comes from Rojavan Kurds who accuse Ankara of actually ferrying terrorists through Turkey behind their defensive lines and cutting off humanitarian aid to their besieged towns.
It comes from the opposition parties, members of which carried the topic to the agenda of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, only to be booed and jeered by the arrogant AKP majority. I know several Nationalist Movement Party deputies who are willing to take people around Istanbul to identify ISIS front companies and so-called non-governmental organizations.
Finally, it comes from the administration itself. Just before the local elections in March, anonymous individuals – presumably operatives of the AKP’s current domestic rival, the Gulen movement – posted audio recordings on YouTube of a meeting between the government’s top security officials. There, the chief spy, Hakan Fidan, bragged that it would be no problem to instruct “our guys across the border” to lob a few rockets in Turkey’s direction, presumably to bolster the AKP’s support in the ballot.
The fact that ISIS took close to 100 Turkish citizens’ hostage from the consulate in Mosul suggests that, prodded by Western governments, the AKP cut off aid and succor to ISIS. In fact, in response to accusations of aiding and abetting terror, AKP officials claim they have already turned away thousands of would-be jihadists flocking from European countries to enter the fray in Syria.
It is too late for that to have worked. Through the fate of its hostages in Mosul, and, more importantly, through the presence of thousands of proto-terrorists still being trained in Turkey and the presence of ISIS flags at three border gates, Ankara is stuck with ISIS.
Imagine the best-case scenario for peace and prosperity: If ISIS and Nusra are kicked out of Iraq and Syria, where will they go? Back to Turkey. For Turkey, ISIS is evidence that what goes around comes around.
ISIS has already turned its gaze to Turkey, the former seat of the Islamic caliphate. It will not be long before it inspires the already substantial fundamentalist Sunni population in Turkey to attack the Alawites, while Turkey’s Kurds will be yearning to be part of a Greater Kurdistan soon to be formed by Iraqi and Syrian Kurds.
Atilla Yesilada is one of Turkey’s leading political analysts. He is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics. This commentary originally appeared at The Mark News (www.themarknews.com).