Turkey Joins Anti-ISIS Coalition, Expected to Play ‘Quiet Role’

Turkey Fears Retaliation if Its Involvement Becomes Too Public

The Obama Administration’s announcement of a “coalition of the willing” to target ISIS was light on details, but the inclusion of Turkey was noteworthy, as the nation has a long border with ISIS territory, and a history of looking the other way when ISIS uses their territory for attacks.

The US has been keen to bring Turkey in because of that border, and the potential of using the “threat” to Turkish soil as leverage to bring NATO as a whole into a conflict against ISIS. Turkey is likely to play a quiet role, however.

The fate of a large number of Turkish hostages held by ISIS after the capture of Mosul continues to loom large in the nation, even though the Turkish government has banned media outlets from covering the situation.

Turkey’s promise of “cooperation,” like the coalition itself, is pretty ill-defined at this point, with officials saying it is unlikely Turkey is going to want to be too public about any anti-ISIS moves, both for fear of the hostages’ safety and the risk of an ISIS retaliation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.