Islamic State fighters to launch campaigns in Iraq and Kurdish regions along the Syria-Iraq border
Tuesday 06 August - US Defence officials fingered Turkish intelligence and military personnel as helping to facilitate a resurgence of ISIS to essentially work as proxies to attack Kurdish positions and pressure the West and regional actors into supporting Turkish interests in Syria.
Some of the ISIS fighters are coming from camps inside Turkey where forces tied to Turkey have helped facilitate training, the officials said.
Turkey strongly opposes an independent Kurdish entity in Syria and has reportedly been pushing for control of a 20-mile deep buffer zone extending into northern Syria, arguing that only Turkey can ensure security in the area where Kurdish forces currently maintain autonomous zones.
Any escalating clashes between ISIS and Kurdish forces could strengthen Turkey’s argument that only it can impose law and order in those zones.
However, the defense officials pointed out that it is Turkey that has been supporting extremists, especially dangerous Islamic fighters under the banner of ISIS.
The officials warned that Turkish actions are resulting in the formation of a new ISIS terror army that can wreak havoc in the region after U.S. and allied efforts under the Trump administration massively damaged the ISIS terror apparatus and essentially destroyed the previously emerging ISIS caliphate in the region.
Another possible threat could potentially come from ISIS terrorists, including foreigners, being freed from Kurdish prisons during any IS assault on Kurdish-controlled territory.
The alleged Turkish support for ISIS comes as Russia, Iran and Turkey held a series of trilateral meetings in recent weeks to discuss the future of Syria.
On Friday, the three countries issued a joint statement following a meeting in Kazakhstan declaring their opposition to the current autonomous zones in northern Syria established by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the largely Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
The statement announced that Russia, Turkey and Iran 'rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism.'
Author's comment: This overt support of ISIS is yet another reason why Turkey should never have been considered as a Western ally in the fight against the Islamic State.