Istanbul Attacks: Is Turkey the New Front of ISIS’s War on the World?

Istanbul Attacks: Is Turkey the New Front of ISIS’s War on the World?
Thu Jun 30, 2016 18:28:32

The latest bloody attack on civilians at Istanbul's Ataturk airport proves Turkey is at the mercy of ISIS militants.

The bombs ripped through the busy airport terminal. Gunfire echoed. Hundreds of travelers and airport workers ran in terror while others dove for cover. Blood spilled on the floor as outside, screeching ambulances parted the crowd of stunned travellers.

The gun and bomb attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport on Tuesday could signal the opening of a new front in the war with the ISIS militants who control parts of Iraq and Syria. Losing ground on battlefields throughout the region, ISIS is seeking desperately to reclaim headlines through a campaign of attacks on civilians in the Middle East, Europe, and beyond.

Turkey has become the central target in that campaign. The June 28 bombings, which killed at least 41 people and injured over 200, were the fifth major attack on civilians in Turkey thought to have been carried out by ISIS in the last year. The slaughter at the airport raises the stakes of the conflict, dealing another blow to Turkey’s economy, raising alarms in Europe, and heaping more pressure on Turkey’s leaders to stabilize the country’s southern border with Syria. It is one more sign that otherwise stable Turkey is being drawn deeper into the regional crisis emanating from Iraq and Syria.

No group had claimed responsibility for the attack on the airport as of late Wednesday, but Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim swiftly assigned blame. “The evidence points to Daesh,” he was quoted as saying, using the Arabic acronym for the group.


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