Turkey, US 'planning joint operation against ISIL'

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been particularly hostile against Turkey and other opposition groups in Syria.

Turkey, US 'planning joint operation against ISIL'

World Bulletin / News Desk

It has been claimed that the United States and Turkey are together planning to conduct a joint operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rebel group in Syria.

Speaking to the Daily Sabah, an unnamed source in the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Turkey and the US will be co-operating against the armed group.

The ISIL, originally starting off as Al-Qaeda's branch in Iraq, broke off from Al-Qaeda when ISIL commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi disobeyed the orders of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahri to pull out of Syria.

Zawahri had designated affiliate Nusra Front to fight in Syria under the command of al-Baghdadi's former right-hand man Abu Muhammad al-Golani.

Instead of pulling out of Syria, the ISIL turned their guns on the Nusra Front as well as other Syrian opposition forces including the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and local Turkmen and Kurdish groups.

Fedaa Majnoun, a senior FSA official, has said that once Bashar al-Assad's regime has been ousted, the FSA will be fighting to rid Syria of the ISIL, which instead of fighting regime forces has been busy fighting the Syrian opposition.

The ISIL has also been hostile to neighboring country Turkey, making threats to attack the Turkish base at Aleppo's Suleiman Shah tomb. This prompted the Turkish authorities to consider carrying out airstrikes against ISIL targets in northern Syria, with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and others accusing the ISIL of being Assad's 'backstage partner'.

Last month, militants from the ISIL opened fire and killed Turkish security forces in Turkey's south-eastern Nigde province when officers attempted to stop the vehicle they were travelling in.

The Daily Sabah quoted one source saying "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."

The ISIL's main base was in the city of Raqqa until they withdrew. Ironically, regime forces never bombed Raqqa when it was in ISIL hands. After other opposition groups took control of the region, regime forces began to pound in area with airstrikes.

Although it is not entirely clear where the ISIL is getting its support from, it is believed that they have been illegally selling Syrian oil after taking control of reserves.

Last Mod: 18 Nisan 2014, 15:17
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