Turkey at “the Gate” of Victory at Al-Bab: What’s Next?

The New Year’s Eve attack in Istanbul represents a significant change in relations between Turkey and the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL). Although ISIL earlier conducted several attacks on touristic places in Istanbul and Ankara, the group had never claimed responsibility until the recent nightclub attack on January 1, 2017. Days before, ISIL released a horrifying video of Turkish soldiers being burned alive in Syria—a claim that was rejected by the Turkish authorities. ISIL’s open declaration of war is primarily a response to Turkey’s policy changes in Syria and the Al-Bab offensive. As ISIL has already begun to retreat due to heavy losses, the Turkish military is preparing to declare its victory in capturing the Syrian town of Al-Bab. Read the Full Article

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