Al-Qaeda militants threaten to take revenge on Prime Minister Erdogan for refusing to help.
The Turkish Parliament extends the army’s mandate to counter threats from Syria for a year. The document allows for cross-border military operations. Ankara is afraid of the arrival of chemical weapons and radical Islamists, who are expanding their influence in the SAR and threatening prime minister Erdogan with terrorist attacks in the capitals.
A year ago, the need for a mandate was explained by the war in the SAR, now there are more reasons. “Today the situation has become more complicated, a chemical threat from Syria has been added,” explained NG Sinan Ogan, director of the Turkish Center for International Relations TURKSAM. “The ruling party permits the use of measures to protect national security in the event of a military, chemical or terrorist threat.”
According to him, there are two terrorist threats to Turkey: one comes from the Kurdish Workers Party, which Ankara considers to be a terrorist organization, the second from jihadists. “They call themselves an Islamic organization. But they are not connected with Islam, they are terrorists, - Ogan noted. - Ankara is considering very seriously the threat from the groups associated with Al-Qaeda.
There are more than enough reasons for concern. The other day, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant grouping published on its website a statement threatening terrorist attacks in Istanbul and Ankara if the Turkish government does not open the Azaz, Bab al-Khava and Reyhanly checkpoints on the Turkish-Syrian border. In the same message, the jihadists claimed responsibility for a double attack in the Reyhanlı in May 2013, when the 52 man was killed. “Erdogan knows what courage of a shahid of an Islamic state is. The torn bodies of its citizens in the Reykhanly are just an example of how much grief we can bring, ”the terrorists said.
This is a warning from the category of psychological warfare techniques, said NG Georgy Mirsky, chief researcher at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “Erdogan is not afraid of these scumbags. The Turkish army is one of the most powerful in the region, so the militants will not dare to attack, he believes. “They're fighting Assad now.” Another question is that their victory over the Syrian President threatens the Turkish Prime Minister with the collapse of his personal leadership project in the Arab world: jihadists are not obliged to him and will not become loyal.
In Ankara, they decided not to ignore the threat. “Any hint of terrorism by the Turkish authorities is taken seriously,” an informed source in Turkey told NG. - We have long been concerned about security on the 650 kilometers border section. It cannot be kept open, especially when al-Qaida units are fighting on the other side. In connection with the threats from the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” Turkey is strengthening its borders and tightening security measures in Istanbul, Ankara and other major cities. ”
Additional armored units have been introduced in Kilis, Gaziantep and Hatay provinces. Additional military units and ammunition were delivered to the frontier. “Recently, Prime Minister Erdogan said that there is no difference from which terrorists threats emanate. We will take all possible measures so that our citizens do not suffer, ”recalled the Turkish expert Sinan Ogan. “This means more army and police units at the border, more military equipment and more anti-chemical defense equipment.”
Recall, the checkpoint on the Ankara border closed immediately after 19 September, when militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant established control over the Syrian border town of Azaz, displacing units of the Free Syrian Army (SSA) from there. According to recent reports, fierce battles in the vicinity are still going on. The Azaz checkpoint is one of the largest centers for the transfer of material and technical assistance to the rebels. Since the capture of "Azaz" radicals supply SSA weapons and humanitarian aid has become seriously complicated. Probably, the success of the Al-Qaida units is due to the growth in the supply of aid from influential Arab monarchies, dissatisfied with the cancellation of the US strike on Syria and the beginning of the process of chemical disarmament.
A confirmation of the improvement in funding for jihadists was a new trend that alarmed Turkey. Groups of young people from the south-eastern provinces of the republic are sent to fight in Syria at the call of Al-Qaida and Al-Nusra. Of course, for good money. According to the Turkish newspaper Radikal, on October 2, the Adiaman police issued a statement: 11 youths from the provinces of Hatay and Kilis went to jihadists. “To save our children from the Syrian jihad - this issue is on the agenda today,” said the police department. At the request of the families of those who left to fight, the security forces conducted operational activities in the areas from Adiaman to the border, including numerous refugee camps in the border area. From 25, only 14 was found. Some of them claim that they went to the detachment to the terrorists in order to save the older brothers who were fighting there.
Also not unfounded are the Turkish authorities' concerns about chemical weapons. Intelligence has already caught radicals with sarin on the border. Terrorists have chemical warfare agents, they fall outside of Syria - this was confirmed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: “We read reports, we hear from various sources ... that allegedly some official representatives of several countries in the region surrounding Syria make contacts and have regular meetings with the leadership of Dzhebhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups. The fact that these radicals have some components of chemical weapons, whether found in Syria, or from somewhere brought ". According to Lavrov, "the components have already been delivered to the territory of Iraq and some provocations are being prepared there." Nothing prevents terrorists from doing the same in Turkey.