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Ex-IS Member Says Group Sees Turkey as Ally
International

Ex-IS Member Says Group Sees Turkey as Ally

A former member of the IS militant group has revealed the extent to which the cooperation of the Turkish military and border forces allows the terrorist group, who now control large parts of Iraq and Syria, to travel through Turkish territory to reinforce fighters battling Kurdish forces.
A reluctant former communications technician working for IS, going by the pseudonym ‘Sherko Omer’, who managed to escape the group, told Newsweek that he travelled in a convoy of trucks as part of an IS unit from their stronghold in Raqqa, across Turkish border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in northern Syria in February, in order to bypass their defenses.
“IS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks,” said Omer of crossing the border into Turkey, “and they reassured us that nothing will happen, especially when that is how they regularly travel from Raqqa and Aleppo to the Kurdish areas further northeast of Syria because it was impossible to travel through Syria as YPG controlled most parts of the Kurdish region.”
Until last month, NATO member Turkey had blocked Kurdish fighters from crossing the border into Syria to aid their Syrian counterparts in defending the border town of Kobane. Speaking to Newsweek, Kurds in Kobane said that people attempting to carry supplies across the border were often shot at.

  Common Enemy
National Army of Syrian Kurdistan (YPG) spokesman Polat Can went even further, saying that Turkish forces were actively aiding IS. “There is more than enough evidence with us now proving that the Turkish army gives IS terrorists weapons, ammunitions and allows them to cross the Turkish official border crossings in order for IS terrorists to initiate inhumane attacks against the Kurdish people in Rojava [north-eastern Syria].”
Omer explained that during his time with IS, Turkey had been seen as an ally against the Kurds. “IS saw the Turkish army as its ally especially when it came to attacking the Kurds in Syria. The Kurds were the common enemy for both IS and Turkey. Also, IS had to be a Turkish ally because only through Turkey they were able to deploy IS fighters to northern parts of the Kurdish cities and towns in Syria.”
“IS and Turkey cooperate together on the ground on the basis that they have a common enemy to destroy, the Kurds,” he added.
While Newsweek was not able to independently verify Omer’s testimony, anecdotal evidence of Turkish forces turning a blind eye to IS activity has been mounting over the past month.

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