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article imageTurkey, U.S planning joint operation against ISIL group in Syria?

By Paul Iddon     Apr 25, 2014 in Politics
There have been some interesting claims and speculation recently that the United States and Turkey may be planning to take joint action against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighting in Syria.
Long War Journal published a very interesting report which reminds us of the recording of a private discussion between high-level Turkish officials discussing their policy towards the ISIL was leaked and subsequently saw to the banning of YouTube — allegedly for national security purposes.
During the course of that discussion one official had proposed the staging of an attack against the ISIL (also known as ISIS — whereby 'Syria' substitutes the broader 'Levant') in Syria in order to justify any future operations which Turkey may undertake in the northern Syrian border region.
This comes after that group seized areas inside of Syria — near the Turkish border — that is considered as part of a 1921 agreement with France to be a part of Turkey, an exclave in the Aleppo region. In this small exclave is the tomb of Suleyman Shah which the fighters now surround. Turkey's foreign minister has said that Turkey will retaliate if that tomb is attacked by anyone. The tomb is guarded by 15 Turkish soldiers.
The ISIL have already allegedly threatened — in another video that was posted YouTube on March 21 but removed three days later — to attack that tomb saying that Turkey has three days to withdraw from that exclave and bring their flag with them. The authenticity of this threat and the source of the video is questionable. There has been no attack as of yet.
The report — which is well worth a read along with another in-depth analysis on the Suleyman Shah tomb situation written late last month by Center for Research on Globalization — goes on to speculate how we can interpret comments made by those Turkish officials. They seem eager to capitalize on the ISIL threat which they believe will simply continue to worsen.
That's where we come on to a more recent report on this situation from World Bulletin which discusses a recent claim that the U.S is also cooperating with Turkey on plans to launch an operation against this Islamist group which was formerly an affiliate of the Al-Qaeda in Iraq group. It has however directly broken from that group after it refused orders to leave Syria. It is now even fighting the other Islamist Nusra Front group as well as the Free Syrian Army along with smaller militants and the Kurds.
As a result of this many, including the Turkish Foreign Minister, have accused them of being Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's "backstage partner" given the fact the ISIL haven't been fighting the Syrian regime but instead focusing on targeting the other armed opposition groups.
The ISIL's particular dislike of Turkey and Turks was summed up by one quoted source which outlined how, "ISIL members do not consider Turks as Muslims according to their understanding of Islam. They think that a NATO ally, secular and a democratic country cannot be Muslim. As a result, they do not avoid killing Turks."
More about ISIL, Turkey, US, Syria
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