The capture of two Turkish soldiers by the Islamic State unleashed expressions of a deep-seated resentment of the Muslim Brotherhood, with which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party is affiliated.
Last week, IS announced that two Turkish soldiers had been taken prisoners during a battle near the Syrian town of Elbab, where Turkish troops and Turkish-supported militias were pitted against IS militants.
A Turkish military spokesperson confirmed that contact was lost with two of its soldiers. A Qatari television station reported that an IS ambush led to their capture, together with several Syrian pro-Turkish militiamen.
The report unleashed jubilant reactions from IS supporters on social media networks, even though Turkey was accused in the early phases of the Syrian civil war of providing IS militants with intelligence in a bid to undermine President Bashar Assad’s regime.
IS militant Omar Almaqdesi invited his Facebook friends to suggest what should be the fate of the Turkish POWs.
The most humane reactions said that the soldiers should be taught the Quran and the tenets of Islam and not slaughtered because, as one user put it, “it would only give the members a momentary boost of adrenaline but not much more.”
Mohammed Abu Anass wrote: “Expect a nifty video with the soldiers of the tyrant infidel Erdogan,” followed by a knife emoji.
Rami Abu Jalalah, a prominent Facebook supporter of IS, only conveyed the details of the incident, but the comments celebrated the achievement of capturing Turkish soldiers and called for killing the “nonbelievers.”
Maysara Alghareeb published an old picture of Erdogan crying, and wrote: “All the options are on the table for the Islamic State organization to decide what to do with the two Turkish soldiers.” Here too his followers pulled no punches on what should be done to them.