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Stop Acting Surprised: Mainstream Media Has Been Reporting on Turkey's ISIS Ties for Months

"Respectable" western media acts like the Turkey-ISIS connection is something new. It isn't, and mainstream media has been reporting on it for a long time

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

A simple request to the western news consumer: Please stop acting surprised that Russia has accused Turkey of direct links to ISIS. Mainstream western news outlets have been reporting on this connection for months. As the Guardian reported back in July of this year

Turkish air strikes in Syria last week signalled a new phase in a conflict that has left its bloody mark on every country in the region. But will the Turks now agree to US demands to cease all clandestine dealings with Islamic State?

<figcaption>ISIS and Erdogan, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G...</figcaption>
ISIS and Erdogan, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G...


When US special forces raided the compound of an Islamic State leader in eastern Syria in May, they made sure not to tell the neighbours.

The target of that raid, the first of its kind since US jets returned to the skies over Iraq last August, was an Isis official responsible for oil smuggling, named Abu Sayyaf. He was almost unheard of outside the upper echelons of the terror group, but he was well known to Turkey. From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of Isis revenues – and Turkish buyers were its main clients.

As a result, the oil trade between the jihadis and the Turks was held up as evidence of an alliance between the two. It led to protests from Washington and Europe – both already wary of Turkey’s 900-mile border with Syria being used as a gateway by would-be jihadis from around the world.


And here's Business Insider, also from July:

NATO member Turkey has long been accused by experts, Kurds, and even Joe Biden of enabling ISIS by turning a blind eye to the vast smuggling networks of weapons and fighters during the ongoing Syrian war.

We can continue, but we'll stop there. But please stop acting like the Turkey-ISIS connection is something new. It's well-established. By mainstream sources. And they've been reporting on it for months. 

Enjoy the rest of your day. 

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