Turkish Supply Lines for the Islamic State

According to recent news reports, the Islamic State is now launching attacks from the Turkish side of the border on Kurdish forces in the Syrian town of Kobani.

Turkish indifference and hostility towards the Kurds is well known and of long standing. And Turkey’s affinity for the Islamic State is becoming more and more overt as the war south of its border wears on.

The video below from Deutsche Welle shows the border crossing into Syria at the Turkish town of Kilis, which is a crucial transshipment point in ISIS’ supply lines. At the very least, corrupt Turkish government officials turn a blind eye to the Islamic State’s acquisition of essential war matériel overland through Turkey. At worst, it’s possible that ISIS’ use of Turkish territory enjoys the active support of Turkey:

Below are excerpts from a Fox News report about ISIS’ latest offensive against Kobani:

‘They Are Attacking From Four Sides’: Activists Say ISIS Moves to Kobani From Turkey

BEIRUT — The Islamic State group launched an attack Saturday on the Syrian border town of Kobani from Turkey, a Kurdish official and activists said, although Turkey denied that the fighters had used its territory for the raid.

The assault began when a suicide bomber driving an armored vehicle detonated his explosives on the border crossing between Kobani and Turkey, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria’s powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party.

The Islamic State group “used to attack the town from three sides,” Khalil said. “Today, they are attacking from four sides.”

Turkey, while previously backing the Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad in that country’s civil war, has been hesitant to aid them in Kobani because it fears that could stoke Kurdish ambitions for an independent state.

A Turkish government statement on Saturday confirmed that one of the suicide attacks involved a bomb-loaded vehicle that detonated on the Syrian side of the border. But it denied that the vehicle had crossed into Kobani through Turkey, which would be a first for the extremist fighters.

“Claims that the vehicle reached the border gate by crossing through Turkish soil are a lie,” read the statement released from the government press office at the border town of Suruc. “Contrary to certain claims, no Turkish official has made any statement claiming that the bomb-loaded vehicle had crossed in from Turkey.”


Mustafa Bali, a Kobani-based activist, said by telephone that Islamic State group fighters have taken positions in the grain silos on the Turkish side of the border and from there are launching attacks toward the border crossing point. He added that the U.S.-led coalition launched an airstrike Saturday morning on the eastern side of the town.

“It is now clear that Turkey is openly cooperating with Daesh,” Bali said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State.

Hat tip for the video: Vlad Tepes.

6 thoughts on “Turkish Supply Lines for the Islamic State

  1. This isn’t a surprise, ISIS needed a base of operations(logistics, medical support, etc) and only Turkey fit the bill. Without Turkey, ISIS could not keep fighting for very long, they would run out of munitions, food and fuel within months.

    Uncle Sam knows all this and more, but our Congress stays silent. Nothing is heard from either party except to attack Assad and Iran.

    This tells me we are not serious in the least, those airstrikes of ours are nothing but Kabuki theater along with our non-punishment of Muzzies who are going or returning from Syria.

  2. The reports incriminating Turkey as an abettor, both through the actions of unimpeded private citizens and inaction of public officials, of ISIS will continue to mount in frequency and accuracy. Combine this with the incredibly hostile rhetoric of President Erdogan against the West – underlining the complicity of the Turkish government as ISIS’s principal logistics and personnel conduit – and the case for booting Turkey out of NATO becomes compelling. Under the de facto lame duck Obama presidency this will not happen. The problem will be inherited by the next Republican administration.

  3. I’m no military genius, but every time I see a photo of a convoy of ISIS operating in broad daylight, I keep wondering, where are the A-10 Warthogs? They say we can’t win a war from the air, but we sure could decimate their numbers.

  4. If your men are getting attacked on three sides by US air, then slip around to the quiet forth side–in Turkey. Predictable if Turkey keeps mum/passive.

Comments are closed.