A CNN headline read “Turkey bombings: ISIS said to be focus of investigation.” I can’t help but to think Turkey is walking down the same road as Syria did during mid-late 2000s.
What do I mean?
Back in the day when the US military was fighting Sunni insurgents in Eastern Iraq a lot of foreign jihadists entered Iraq through Syria. Of course that had devastating consequences for Syria internally.
The Syrian Government had an important role in the growth of terrorist networks in Syria through the permissive attitude the Asad regime took towards al-Qa’ida’s foreign fighter facilitation efforts during the Iraq conflict. Syrian Government awareness and encouragement for many years of violent extremists’ transit through Syria to enter Iraq, for the purpose of fighting Coalition Troops, is well documented. Syria was a key hub for foreign fighters en route to Iraq. Those very networks were the seedbed for the violent extremist elements that terrorized the Syrian population in 2013.
Some of those radical foreign fighters of course didn’t entered into Iraq for one reason or another. Of course some of those that did enter into Iraq only to come back to Syria to form the “Islamic State.”
Today most of the foreign fighters in Syria enter through the country of Turkey. Turkey has been allowing fighters to enter in Iraq and Syria. One has to wonder if the same pattern with Syria will repeat with Turkey. Like Syria, Turkey will and probably has tighten up their borders more now with the world hearing more and more about the Islamic State. And like Syria some of those jihadists will stay in Turkey. These guys are not going to sit around and talk about ideology. They left their home country for a reason. It’s a powder keg waiting to explode.
Here’s the lesson I want to point out: There is a danger in supporting evil. What you sow, you will reap whether this life or the next. Often the hubris of policy makers make them short sighted. They think they can just export evil to their neighboring country. Or merely look the other way. All of it without consequences. But that’s not how it works. You can’t domesticate evil. You can’t control it. It will try to control you. And soon things will spin out of control. Best not to play with fire in the first place.