When Turkish-backed jihadists link up with Daesh, there’s only one outcome. And it’s begun.

Turkish-backed Syrian jihadists
Tom Coburg

WARNING: this story contains a very graphic video of a mutilated body, that some readers may find distressing.

It appears that many of the Turkish-backed ground troops invading the mostly Kurdish populated areas of Rojava (north Syria) are al-Qaeda affiliated Syrian jihadists. They and their families are likely to take over the so-called 20 mile deep ‘safe zone’. Meanwhile, there are reports that thousands of Daesh (Isis/Isil) prisoners, held by the largely Kurdish led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), are planning to break out and rejoin the fight.

The likely outcome doesn’t bear thinking about.

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Atrocities

There are many Syrian-based jihadist and Islamist groups, identified from earlier collusion with Turkey’s March 2018 invasion into the Kurdish enclave of Afrin. Reportedly, massacres and war crimes have already begun.

One video emerged showing a horrific field execution by an alleged Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army activist:

Another attack, allegedly by Turkey, caused civilian casualties:

Turkey’s support for Daesh

In 2014, a former communications technician told Newsweek:

ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks. …

ISIS 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 ISIS and Turkey. Also, ISIS had to be a Turkish ally because only through Turkey they were able to deploy ISIS fighters to northern parts of the Kurdish cities and towns in Syria.

ISIS and Turkey cooperate together on the ground on the basis that they have a common enemy to destroy, the Kurds.

Indeed, there is evidence that the Turkish military and intelligence services have been arming jihadists for years. For example, it was revealed that Turkey bussed in hundreds of jihadists into Syria via the border town of Akçakale in 2014. The bus drivers claimed the operation was organised by Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı, also known as the National Intelligence Organization (MIT).

And in January 2014, MIT was caught red-handed “transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition” via trucks to al-Qaeda in Syria. Cumhuriyet posted a video allegedly showing trucks inspected by security officers:

Arms

More evidence emerged that appeared to provide details of similar operations. For example, there were claims that one clandestine operation involved six steel containers in three trucks that:

held a total of 1,000 artillery shells, 50,000 machine gun rounds, 30,000 heavy machine-gun rounds and 1,000 mortar shells. In one steel container, inspectors registered some two dozen mortars measuring roughly two yards (two meters) long and 5.9 inches (15 centimeters) in diameter; metal mortar casings in smaller sizes; around 10–15 wooden boxes, each containing 24 units of weaponry mechanisms that fire explosive projectiles; around 30 boxes of 2.3-inch (60-millimeter) mortar shells; and five or six bags of anti-aircraft ammunition.

These arms were reportedly destined for Ansar al-Islam, which is an al-Qaeda affiliate group.

Yet more evidence of support

And in 2016, the autonomous Kurdish-majority communities in northern Syria published “compelling evidence” of collusion between Daesh militants and Turkey. Other evidence of cooperation between Turkey and Daesh included supplying arms and jailing journalists, as well as trading in ISIS oil.

A comprehensive list of links between Daesh and the Turkish authorities is here.

Daesh regrouping?

Meanwhile, using Turkey’s invasion of Rojava as cover, Daesh prisoners are reportedly trying to break out of prisons, including one camp that holds around 60,000 inmates.

One Twitter user suggested that Daesh has already re-grouped and is utilising armoured vehicles provided by Turkey:

Early warnings

It’s claimed that the 2018 ethnic cleansing of Kurds in Afrin by Turkish-backed jihadists is still ongoing, with thousands of jihadist families transported there to take over the homes of displaced Kurds:

Grey Wolves

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) also reported it witnessed members of the ultra-nationalist Grey Wolves fighting alongside the Turkish military in its attack on Afrin.

There were allegations of war crimes:

The SOHR also reported the mutilation of the body of a member of the mostly Kurdish YPJ (Women’s Protection Units):

Displaced

Meanwhile, a report from Rojava stated that after only three days since Turkey invaded, over 190,000 people had been displaced:

Erdogan is a loose cannon

While there are differences between al-Qaeda affiliated jihadists and Daesh, should the latter successfully form a second front against the Kurds, then it may be that massacres become the norm.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s president  Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened Europe with 3.6 million refugees if it continues to characterise Turkey’s invasion of Rojava as invasion. He’s made similar threats – three times.

Erdoğan cannot be allowed to get away with these war crimes.

Featured image via YouTube

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