Turkey played part in Islamic State's success, commander says

Turkey played part in Islamic State's success, commander says

Turkey played part in Islamic States success, commander says

An Islamic State militant stand guard at a checkpoint captured from the Iraqi Army outside Beiji refinery, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq. AP Photo

The so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), recently renamed has Turkey to thank for growing strong enough to conquer large swathes of Syria and Iraq, one of its commanders has suggested in an interview with the Washington Post published on Aug. 12.

The 27-year-old commander, identified as Abu Yusef, who traveled to the town of Reyhanlı in the southern province of Hatay for the interview, explained that they received most of their supplies from across the Turkish border until a recent crackdown against them.

“We used to have some fighters — even high-level members of the Islamic State — getting treated in Turkish hospitals. And also, most of the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so did our equipment and supplies,” Yusef told the Washington Post.

Although it has now become more difficult to rely on the Turkish borders since the recent crackdown, the jihadists now have more than enough access to weapons in Iraq.

“It is not as easy to come into Turkey anymore. I myself had to go through smugglers to get here, but as you see, there are still ways and methods,” he said.

The piece, penned by Anthony Faiola and Souad Mekhennet, suggested that Turkey’s recent measures could prove “too little, too late.”

Click here to read the Washington Post’s article.