Turkey airstrikes hit ISIS in new phase of war

Turkey airstrikes

ISIS expansion has grown to threaten Turkey’s border with Syria (image by NordNordWest)

PRAYER ALERT: On July 24 Turkey airstrikes finally hit ISIS after months of reluctance to confront the steadily-advancing terror group. The Turkey airstrikes followed a series of provocations. On July 20 an ISIS suicide bombing killed 32 people in the Kurdish town of Suruc, Turkey. Those 32 people were about to deliver aid to the hard-won Kurdish stronghold of Kobani on the Syrian side of the border. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, blamed the 32 deaths on the Turkish government. The PKK accused the government of aiding and abetting instead of confronting ISIS. Over the next few days, Kurds attacked Turkish police officers in three different locations. They killed two and wounded at least seven.

Turkish soldiers massed at the border to prevent further ISIS incursions and monitor Kurdish movements. The Turkey airstrikes against ISIS were finally launched after an ISIS ambush killed one of the Kurdish soldiers. Three Turkish F-16 jets hit multitudes of ISIS targets including two command centers. Turkey also announced for the first time that it would allow the US to launch manned warplanes against ISIS from Turkish bases. Until now Turkey had only allowed drones. Manned warplanes had to fly about 1200 miles from distant air bases and aircraft carriers.

Turkey airstrikes

Turkish President Erdogan wanted to revive the Islamic Ottoman Empire, which reached its largest extent in 1683.

Turkey’s cooperation could signal a sudden shift in the war against ISIS. Now the US-led coalition can strike ISIS more quickly and decisively. But Turkey also wants to bring down Assad in Syria. Who will fill the power vaccuum? ISIS, Iran, a Syrian rebel coalition, or Turkey itself? Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long envisioned a revived Islamic empire in the Middle East and North Africa. He was suspected of tolerating the growing ISIS caliphate because he wanted to seize control of it himself.

Turkish jets are also now attacking the Kurds, who have been ISIS’ most effective enemy

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Turkey airstrikes escalate the campaign against ISIS.

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