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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/16/16

The 587,688 Man ISIS Army

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Presidential Flag of Turkey
Presidential Flag of Turkey
(Image by (From Wikimedia) Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Cumhurbaşkanlığı, Author: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Cumhurbaşkanlığı)
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The Commander in Chief of Turkey's half million-man military, President Recep Tayipp Erdogan, is a supporter of ISIS and a financial beneficiary of the ISIS oil trade. It is entirely reasonable to say that Turkey is aligned with ISIS and is actively supporting that group and other extremist jihadist groups in the attack on Syria. Image: Creative Commons

Since the start of the attack on Syria in 2011, Turkey has been a key transit point for foreign jihadists, supplies, and weapons headed for rebels fighting to bring down the Syrian government. Jihadists enter Turkey and get bussed to the Syrian border. Along the way, many are trained at facilities like that in Adana, Turkey. The Turkish military has done nothing to stop this.

The Turkish military did nothing in 2012 when local authorities in southern Turkey stopped a shipment of weapons to jihadists in Syria. When intelligence officials in Ankara instructed the local authorities to stand down and allow the weapons to pass to Syrian rebels, the army passively observed and silently endorsed the delivery of deadly munitions to jihadist extremists.

When the Syrian city of Kobani was under attack by ISIS in October 2014, the Turkish military lounged on their tanks in the hills above the besieged city and did absolutely nothing.

The illegal ISIS oil trade was an open secret for months. On December 2, 2015, the Russian Ministry of Defense presented detailed evidence showing convoys of ISIS oil leaving Syria and entering Turkey. Independent analysts supported the validity of the claims. There is also evidence that the president's son Bilal Erdogan's shipping fleet has been used to transport the ISIS oil to up to forty nations around the world. The total ISIS oil income is around a billion dollars a year. This income provides the financial foundation for the organization's military efforts. The Turkish military has done nothing to stop this.

Most recently, the Erdogan government showed its true colors by having the army shell Syrian Kurds and the Syrian Arab Army in northern Syria. These are the only two fighting forces on the ground opposing ISIS and other Al Qaeda aligned jihadists in the civil war, Syrian Kurds and the regular army. These forces were about to secure control of the area around the town of Azaz, Syria. A clear victory would cut off the supply line to jihadists in Syria. Turkey's army began shelling Kurdish and Syrian troops on Sunday, February 12, and the attack continues.

President Erdogan threw down a challenge to the United States on February 11: "Oh America! I told you many times; you are [either] beside us, or all of these terrorist organizations [Syrian Kurds]. You haven't had a good grasp of them, and that is why the region has turned into the sea of blood."

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu said Monday: "YPG [Syrian Kurds] elements were forced away from around Azaz. If they approach again they will see the harshest reaction. We will not allow Azaz to fall,"

Providing a pathway for ISIS recruits; safe passage for oil to sell to willing buyers and ships to get it there; giving training and weapons for ISIS; and military support all show Turkey is aligned with ISIS objectives and the massive Turkish army is participating in the cause of its commander in chief, President Erdogan.

Turkey is threatening to invade northern Syria with its army supplemented by fighter jets and troops from Saudi Arabia. The Turks strongly implied that an invasion would occur if the Kurds and Syrian army secure Azaz from Syrian rebels including Al Qaeda aligned Al Nusra. Why? Because Azaz is a key to the supply of personnel and weapons to jihadist terrorists, Al Qaeda aligned, ISIS, and others.

Thus, the facilitating role of the Turkey's military may become even more active than the current shelling. The commander in chief of the Turkish military, Erdogan, is threatening to invade Syria and secure Azaz for the benefit of ISIS and other terrorists.

How much more proof do NATO and others need to realize that the 587,688 person Turkish military is now part of the ISIS alliance?

The Kurds and Syrian army forces continue their advance on Azaz. We will soon see if Erdogan is bluffing, in which case there will be no Turkish invasion, or if he's lost his mind and orders his army to cross the Syrian border.

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