Turkey Moves to Wall Off Syria Border After ISIS Fighting

Troops Digging Ditches, Erecting Modular Walls

The recent bombing attack in Surac, Turkey appears to have been a wake-up call for the Turkish government after months of relative ambivalence about ISIS’s growth on their southern border. Today, a border clash erupted between the military and ISIS forces, leaving at least one soldier slain. An ISIS fighter was also killed in attacks that followed.

This sudden realization that they have a long border with the ISIS caliphate and that this might be a problem has the Turkish military scrambling to secure that border, digging a 365 km ditch along much of the border, setting up reconnaissance drones, and installing some 150 km of modular walls there.

The military is also deploying fighter jets and tanks to the border region, anticipating more cross-border attacks by ISIS forces, a problem which opposition figures say Turkey wasn’t taking seriously until the most recent round of attacks.

Turkey has long been the route of choice for ISIS recruits to enter the Caliphate, and with Turkey openly endorsing the Syrian Civil War they’ve done little to prevent the recruits from crossing. This recent tension along the border may serve to slow ISIS recruitment.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.