Islamic State Commander Says Turkey Instrumental in ‘Success’

Islamic State fighters ride through streets as part of a military parade after gaining significant victories in Iraq. (Photo: Reuters)

REYHANLI, Turkey—A senior commander of the Islamic State (formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham) has told the Washington Post that Turkey’s support was instrumental in the success of his organization, which now controls great swathes of Syria and Iraq.

In an interview with the Washington Post on Aug. 12, the 27-year-old commander identifying himself as Abu Yusef explained that the Islamic State received most of its supplies from Turkey and had many of its fighters from Syria treated at Turkish hospitals. Abu Yusef, speaking to the Washington Post in the southeaster Turkish town of Reyhanli near the Syrian border, says much of that has changed as the Turkish government has begun cracking down on IS operations.

“It is not as easy to come into Turkey anymore,” Yusuf says. “I myself had to go through smugglers to get here, but as you see, there are still ways and methods.”

“We used to have some fighters — even high-level members of the Islamic State — getting treated in Turkish hospitals. And also, most of the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so did our equipment and supplies,” Yusef told the Washington Post.

Turkey closed its doors on the Islamic State when the extremists took their war into Iraq, capturing 80 Turkish citizens in the process, 40 of whom are still in captivity. But now, Yusef says, the Islamic State has enough resources in Syria and Iraq that it no longer needs Turkey’s support.

The piece, authored by Anthony Faiola and Souad Mekhennet, gives an exhaustive account of Turkey’s relationship with the Islamic State. It can be read on the Washington Post’s website.


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  1. hidi said:

    *** I am absolutely puzzled by the complete silence of Western media, and the fact that there is no mention of the prominent role Turkey has been playing in helping and covertly boosting the Islamic state terror group., as always they are playing both sides like a dirty double agent.( we are a NATO member card and then turn around and push for Islamic jihadist agenda ). it is time for whole world to see what they really are.

  2. Vindicated Man said:

    Congratulations, Turkey-lovers of the world. How much more evidence do those people need? Do they ever open their eyes?

  3. zarkim said:

    Thanks to the American Administration and their allies, these animals have been supported by Turkey and have stolen money and oil/gas from Iraq and Syria and killed innocent people.
    Turkey has been encouraged by Obama administration to fund and train these terrorists and now they have become a headache for Obama. Turkey is guilty of stealing oil/gas using ISIS.
    Kurdish people and all other groups who have been hurt by these animals should blame the Americans for their cowardly act of stirring things up and then running away.
    Americans are behind all these atrocities. Turkey is just a puppet.
    How dare they blame Putin for anything when they have done and still do even worst?

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  5. Dino said:

    The terror organization called the Islamic State developed power with the financial help of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United States and primarily though the good graces of Erdogan’s Sunni Islamic government have caused great cruelty in Syria which the western media has downplayed. The Islamic State then sought rule and complete hegemony of one third of Iraq which was not the desire of said regional players. The evil perpetrated by the Islamic Stare is within the nature of Sunni Islam similar to what was perpetrated against the Armenian nation in the Syrian and Iraqi deserts in the years 1915-1918. The Islamic State once known as ISIS should be condemned Internationally as a “Genocidal Organization” for its genocidal policies against Assyrians, Armenians, Alawites, Arameans, Alevis, Shiites, Yezidies and Turkomans. Put simply, “The Islamic State is a Genocidal Organization”. Tweet, blog and inform all international and local government organizations and elected officials that The Islamic State is a Genocidal Organization.

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  7. Samuel Darbinian said:

    Turkey is the land of terror & horror, with its jihadist terrorist proxy destabilizing neighboring countries. by attacking innocent civilians. creating chaos then commit Turkish style Genocide against national minorities.
    Turkish newly elected president repeatedly in the public his reactionary & fanatic dogma expressed, he has
    many innocents blods on his hand. He is supporting his darling criminal Azari turk Elham Alieve’s terror
    activity such as axing an innocent Armenian in his sleep in 3rd country, supports Alieves attack on Armen- ian farmers in remote areas. reasoning Alieve is his cousin, with his Turkish race & religious affiliation
    manifests against any rule of justice for non turks & any nonislamic infidels.
    2-3 months ago after Armenian president publicly endorsed Russian occupation of Crimea, Which immidiet-
    ly draw Armenia into international isolation, turkey picked it up as a fine opportune together with its terrorist jihadist proxy invaded Armenians Syrian town Kessab & Alepo, killing & plundering Armenians & destroying their churches, as usual Turkish chameleon tried once again by changing color run away from

    • Lus said:

      Public endorsement of Crimea’s joining the Russian Federation was probably one of the best decisions an Armenian president could ever do… President Sarkissian is the best Armenia has seen since independence…

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  9. Jesus said:

    Turkey’s current government is openly trying to establish a new fascist, islamic empire. To do this, they desperately need money, and this is the reason they support the IS. They are very naive to believe that they can succeed in stealing Oil, Gas and land from their neighbours. They have never learned from history. Even if Turkey can establish a foothold in Syria and Iraq they would face a very costly occupation for long time to come.

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