TEHRAN – An expert on the Middle East believes that Turkey’s threats against the terrorist group ISIL, which has now captured a large swathe of northeastern Syria and northwestern Iraq, are just a “show”.
Sadeq Maleki said Turkey has played an important role in supporting extremists in Syria and Iraq. He cited the Turkish support for the Al-Nusra Front and ISIL as examples.
ISIL is an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria.
“In regard to regional views there has been no major difference between Turks and Saudis and some reactionary Arab states,” Maleki said in an interview with the Mehr News Agency released on Saturday.
There is no major difference between Turkey and certain other countries in their support for extremist groups, the expert on the Middle East issues said.
If Ankara’s support to ISIL and Al-Nusra is “secret” it is because the political system in Turkey is different from a country like Saudi Arabia, he commented.
“Today, if Turkey threatens ISIL, it wants to conceal its supports for this group and other extremists groups,” he noted.
He added Turkey, by granting asylum to fugitive Iraqi vice president Tariq al-Hashemi and giving logistical support to extremists gave rise to such groups like ISIL.
Like Saudi Arabia, Turkey is promoting kind of a mentality in Syria which its purpose is to launch war between Shias and Sunnis.
He also said the capture of the Turkish consulate in Mosul and taking hostage its diplomats there can be just a “show”.
“It (the capture) could even be a move for protecting the Turkish staff, and it is very unlikely that ISIL do harms to the nationals of this country.”
He also said Turkey is among the countries which has not yet recognized the developments in Iraq that followed the ouster of the Saddam Hussein regime.
He added opposition groups in Turkey have repeatedly accused the Recep Tayyip Erdogan government of supporting ISIL and the Al-Nusra Front.
“The presence of a large number of Turkish nationals among ISIL forces and the capture of some of them are indications of Ankara’s overt and covert support for Salafi groups in making Iraq insecure.”
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