IS Threatens Turkey as Ankara Fears more Attacks

Mar 29, 2016

On March 28, the Islamic State's Ninawa Province media branch released a video delivering a new threat against Kurdish President Maseoud Barazani, who is accused of "starting a war of attrition against the Islamic State, which has cost the lives of many of his soldiers and brought the Kurdish Autonomous Region to the brink of bankruptcy." This, the video claims, has prompted Barazani to seek help from foreign states, and even to form an alliance with his "nemesis," Turkey.

Turkey is blamed for setting up camps in Iraq with Barazani's permission, and for carrying out airstrikes against the civilian population in Mosul's Bakr and Nour neighborhoods. The video continues with a direct threat against Barazani and Turkish President Erdogan: "The two of you will pay a heavy price for the killing of Muslims. Times are changing and what is to come will be worse and more bitter."

This threat comes as Turkey is struggling to prevent more IS-linked terror attacks on its soil. On the day the abovementioned video was released, Turkish intelligence officials told Sky News that the interrogation of IS members arrested in Turkey last week revealed that the group has 'advanced plans' to strike Jewish schools, kindergartens, and youth centers in Turkey. This threat seems especially credible in light of the fact that it was followed by an advisory from the Israeli authorities, urging their citizens in Turkey to leave the country as soon as possible.

The Islamic State was also blamed by the Turkish authorities for a suicide attack in Istanbul that killed three Israelis and one Iranian citizen on March 18. IS has not claimed responsibility for any attack on Turkish soil to date, but Ankara's greater involvement in the anti-IS campaign in Iraq can bring about an escalation in the IS-Turkey conflict.


IS vows Turkey will "pay a heavy price" for its intervention in Iraq