NATO Member Turkey Accused of Aiding Mideast Jihadists

Turkish President and leader of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the crowd during his party's parliamentary group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT) in Ankara, on October 02, 2018. (Photo by ADEM ALTAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty …
ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty

Turkey’s foreign ministry said that a convoy destined for a military observation post in Idlib, Syria was attacked in an air raid earlier today.

The Syrian government, in turn, said the Turkish convoy contained “ammunition, weapons and material” on its way to arm a Syrian jihadist group in Khan Sheikhoun, where Bashar al-Assad’s regime has been engaged in a campaign to rid the remaining jihadist bastion from the country.

Fighters from Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a Salafi jihadist group accused of operating under the ideology of al-Qaida, control large swaths of territory in and around Idlib. If any Turkish arms reached the group that would mean the NATO-member country was arming Mideast jihadists.

Syria labeled the Turkish convoy “a stark violation of the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.”

Neither Turkey nor Syria explicitly said which country they believe was behind the attack on the convoy, but the statement from Turkey hinted at Russian involvement.

The Turkish foreign ministry claimed that Russia was given “advance information” about the convoy’s movements and said the airstrike “contradicts the existing agreements, cooperation and dialogue with the Russian Federation.”

Earlier this month, Breitbart Jerusalem cited informed Middle Eastern defense officials saying Turkey has been working to bring thousands of Islamic State fighters to the region to launch campaigns in Iraq and Kurdish regions along the Syria-Iraq border.

The officials fingered Turkish intelligence and military personnel as helping to facilitate a resurgence of IS to essentially work as proxies to attack Kurdish positions and pressure the West and regional actors into supporting Turkish interests in Syria. Some of the IS fighters are coming from camps inside Turkey where forces tied to Turkey have helped facilitate training, the officials said.

Turkey strongly opposes an independent Kurdish entity in Syria and has reportedly been pushing for control of a 20-mile deep buffer zone extending into northern Syria, arguing that only Turkey can ensure security in the area where Kurdish forces currently maintain autonomous zones. Any escalating clashes between IS and Kurdish forces could strengthen Turkey’s argument that only it can impose law and order in those zones.  The U.S. and Turkey reportedly agreed in theory to a buffer zone but details about the size of the space have not been released.

However, the defense officials speaking to Breitbart Jerusalem pointed out that it is Turkey that has been supporting extremists, especially dangerous Islamic fighters under the banner of IS.

The officials warned that Turkish actions are resulting in the formation of a new IS terror army that can wreak havoc in the region after U.S. and allied efforts under the Trump administration massively damaged the IS terror apparatus and essentially destroyed the previously emerging IS caliphate in the region.

Another possible threat could potentially come from IS terrorists, including foreigners, being freed from Kurdish prisons during any IS assault on Kurdish-controlled territory.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

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