Turkey is likely to suffer more terror attacks as the campaign against the Islamic State continues to rage at its doorstep, an Arab intelligence officer estimated.
Many captured IS militants admitted during their interrogation that Turkey is a prime target for the organization, he said, in the wake of the Turkish army’s intervention in Syria, which pushed IS away from the border.
The source said that Saturday’s attack in Istanbul, which was likely carried out by IS, “will not be the last. From interrogating captured militants and monitoring online forums we have established that Turkey is high up on IS’s list. IS believes Turkey’s cross-border operation greatly affected its ability to smuggle fighters and funds, in addition to Turkey’s military activity, which also impacts them.”
He said that Turkish intelligence is divided on the extent of the blow the cross-border operation, originally planned to target Kurdish rebels, delivered to IS.
“Some Turkish intelligence officials have expressed reservation at the official declarations that the operation in Syria is against the Kurds and IS fighters,” he said. “They said IS didn’t pose a threat to Turkey’s national security as much as the Kurds did, therefore they believe Ankara’s wish to signal that it disavows IS after being accused of supporting it has dragged it into an unnecessary conflict. They believe Turkey will continue to pay for this conflict.”
Last August, Breitbart Jerusalem quoted an Arab intelligence official saying that prospective IS attacks were the reason behind a travel warning issued by the US government. He said that Turkey would likely witness a string of Kurdish- and IS-led attacks, based on intercepted phone calls from IS operatives in Lebanon.