Qatar and Turkey backed ISIS before the scorpion turned against them. They’re still backing ISIS’ Gaza cousin, Hamas. But Turkey is cracking down on a ISIS to some degree anyway for reasons of survival.
The so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), recently renamed has Turkey to thank for growing strong enough to conquer large swathes of Syria and Iraq, one of its commanders has suggested in an interview with the Washington Post published on Aug. 12.
The 27-year-old commander, identified as Abu Yusef, who traveled to the town of Reyhanlı in the southern province of Hatay for the interview, explained that they received most of their supplies from across the Turkish border until a recent crackdown against them.
“We used to have some fighters — even high-level members of the Islamic State — getting treated in Turkish hospitals. And also, most of the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so did our equipment and supplies,” Yusef told the Washington Post.
One of Erdogan’s less notable scandals involved arms smuggling.
Police officers who followed and stopped a truck that was allegedly carrying weapons to Syria have been removed from their positions.
The truck was followed by a team of police from Hatay’s Terror and Organized Crime Department on a tipoff that it was carrying weapons and ammunition to Syria. It was stopped twice by the police, first near a gendarmerie outpost on the Reyhanlı-Kırıkhan road and again on the Muratpaşa road. The police were prevented from searching the truck’s cargo by an official statement from Gov. Celalettin Lekesiz, who said the cargo was a state secret.
The police officers who stopped the truck on the Kırıkhan road and the separate police officers who stopped the truck near Muratpaşa road were removed from their duties.
Also, several chiefs and deputy chiefs from Hatay’s Terror and Organized Crime Department were relocated after the incident.