Turkey admitted openly on Wednesday that it sent “thousands” of ISIS terrorists to the West.
“We have sent thousands of members of the Daesh (ISIS) terrorist organization to the West because they transferred them to conflict zones,” Soylu said. “They are partners in drug trafficking, migrant and oil smuggling,” Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said.
ISIS, Kurds “little children of the West,” Turkey Says
Soylu also suggested the West created — and continues to fund — ISIS and the Kurds.
“PKK (the Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and Daesh are not enemies to each other,” Soylu said. “Both of them are little children of the West.”
Soylu also suggested Turkey was “dealing with the evil mind,” claiming Europe is aiding the terrorists. “They receive patronage from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and all European countries.”
Soylu has a history of making inflammatory comments but these are more confrontational, at least to the West, than usual.
“They do this through intelligence agencies,” Soylu said, claiming the West supports terrorist organizations through its own government, including the national security apparatus. “They share the money, use it to continue their terrorist acts and sustain illegal lifestyles.”
#Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu publicly said his gov't sent thousands of #ISIS terrorists to the West.
He also claimed it was the West that created al-Qaeda, ISIS and PKK, accused Western intelligence agencies of running drug, oil and migrant smuggling. pic.twitter.com/IrfRVDFit3
— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) February 17, 2022
Turkey undermines the fight against ISIS in Syria: Biden
The US and allies has made comments insinuating Turkey has protected and even supported ISIS, among other terrorists.
“Many Daesh [ISIS] and al-Qaeda leaders are still alive, protected by Turkey in occupied areas of northeast and northwest Syria,” the head of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)’s media and information office, Farhad Shami, told CBS News in an interview, in early February. “He [an ISIS fighter killed] was protected between three Turkish military bases. … Is there any doubt that Turkey turned areas of northern Syria into a safe zone for Daesh [ISIS] leaders?”
In October, US President Joe Biden singled out Turkey for undermining the fight against ISIS with its military offensive in northeast Syria.
“The situation in and in relation to Syria, and in particular the actions by the Government of Turkey to conduct a military offensive into northeast Syria, undermines the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, endangers civilians, and further threatens to undermine the peace, security, and stability in the region, and continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Biden said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13894 with respect to the situation in and in relation to Syria,” the US president said.
In the past, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has used refugees as pawns in talks about refugees with the EU.
“We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses … So how will you deal with refugees if you don’t get a deal? Kill the refugees?” Erdogan was quoted in the text as telling the EU officials.
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