Journalist: "Why isn't Turkey targeting ISIS leaders?"
After an Islamic State (ISIS) leader was killed in northwest Syria Tuesday in a territory under the control of the Turkish army and its proxies, Turkish journalist Murat Yetkin pointed out that this was the third incident within the last three years that an ISIS leader was killed in an area only a few miles to the Turkish border.
Underlining that Maher al-Agal was killed Tuesday in a US drone strike near the town of Jindaris in a location less than five miles to the Turkish border, Yetkin went on to stress that Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the head of ISIS, was killed 3 February in the village of Atme, less than one mile to the Turkish border.
Yetkin added that al-Qurayshi's predecessor Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in the village of Barisha, three miles to the Turkish border on 26 November 2019.
"The authorities have informed in many occasions that senior members of the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] were assassinated in Syrian and Iraqi soil through drone strikes carried out by the Defense Ministry, with the help of the Turkish National Intelligence Agency's [MIT] network in Syria and Iraq. Sometimes such operations were conducted even in territories over hundred km to the border."
He then asked:
"Well, how about ISIS leaders living in a walking distance to our border? While CIA is able to locate them, cannot the Turkish National Intelligence Agency do the same so that Turkish Armed Forces target them in strikes? Is this because the strategy of fighting terror in the source is not applied in the case of ISIS? Some members of ISIS can be captured only when they've crossed into Turkey, or when they're involved in preparations in Turkey for an an attack. And even then, after they have been arrested in Turkey, they are usually released in a while."