Mark the day. From now on Turkey can be no less committed to the defeat of ISIS than are Syria, Russia and Iran
There are two things everyone should know about ISIS by now. One is that these guys can fight. Turkish military has lost 16 dead in just recent fighting for the Syrian city of al-Bab. ISIS has also managed to capture one 65 ton German-made Leopard 2 tank along with two Turkish soldiers.
The other thing everyone should know by know is that they are pure scum. Having captured the two Turkish soldiers they filmed and published the footage of the pair being humiliated and then burned alive.
Those who have seen the video say it is one of the most disturbing from ISIS yet.
Turkish authorities are so horrified by the video they have blocked Twitter, YouTube and Facebook access throughout the country.
Needless to say ISIS has just made a mortal enemy in Turkish president Erdogan. Reputedly a volatile man this is a humiliation he will not easily forget.
As late as the fall of 2015 one could credibly make an argument that Turkey was not interesting in sealing its border to ISIS. Even in 2016 when Turkey first organised rebel offensives against ISIS in northern Syria, and then in August moved across the border itself, one would still be correct in pointing out that from Ankara's perspective this was primarily an anti-Kurdish move designed to prevent the Kurdish YPG militia from taking this strategic territory.
This is all over now. If Erdogan has any sense of shame he will now upgrade ISIS to the level of mortal enemy on par with the YPG/PKK Kurds. (Ironically one of the two murdered Turkish army soldiers was an ethnic Kurd.)
In this way ISIS' barbarism has every chance of coming back to haunt it as it has countless times in the past. Just this Tuesday Turkey in Moscow signed onto a Russian-proposed framework to end the war in Syria together with Russia and Iran.
ISIS' humiliation of the Turkish military only makes it more likely that Erdogan will stuck by that roadmap.
Indeed news has just hit that Turkey has confirmed participation at the new round of Syria talks with Russia and Iran to be hosted next January in Kazakhstan (a Muslim and Turkic-speaking country close to Russia):
— Rudaw English (@RudawEnglish)December 23, 2016
ISIS butchers may have just accomplished something extraordinary -- made Turkey into a reliable partner for Moscow and Iran to find solution for Syria with. If they have, they will certainly regret it.