Friday, July 1, 2016

If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas

I wonder how much this news had to do with Turkey's sudden desire for rapprochement with Russia?

Tuesday’s deadly gun and bomb attack on Istanbul airport - in which at least 43 people were killed - was the latest manifestation of a war that has gripped Russia’s southern Muslim republics for more than two decades.

According to Turkish government officials, the three attackers who stormed the airport’s lower-level arrivals terminal came from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The authorities believe the trio carried out their suicide mission on behalf of Islamic State.

On Thursday Turkish newspapers identified the alleged ringleader as Akhmed Chatayev, and named one of the bombers as Osman Vadinov. Vadinov is said to have travelled to Istanbul from Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State. Both men are or were Chechens.

This is hardly surprising: since Russia’s first 1994-96 Chechen war, Istanbul has been home to several thousand Chechens, some of them initially in refugee camps. As well as civilians, the Turkish city has become a base for Chechen fighters and their families, and a place where injured fighters receive treatment.

. . .

Sources suggest that recruiters for Isis and other rebel groups were soliciting Chechens quite openly, though they have now gone underground. Russian security services believe there are now around 2,000 people of Russian origin fighting in Syria, most of them Chechens.

There's more at the link.

The Chechens' propensity towards brutality and mass murder - on both sides of the civil war in that region - has become legendary.  (The Beslan school massacre was the most extreme, but far from the only terrorist attack arising from that conflict.)  If Erdogan's Islamist government in Turkey chose to allow thousands of Chechens to take refuge within its borders, it has no-one to blame but itself for the consequences.



Kristophr said...

Chechens are fighting on both sides of the conflict. Assad has recruited a lot of them, under the blessing of the new pro-Putin regime in Chechnya, to stiffen up his own forces.

Yea, I think Erdrogan has figured out he has allowed a viper into his own bed, and that the western powers ain't going to be much help. I think he also wants to be on the winning side. And that ain't the side with Obama on it.

mark leigh said...

Russia's goal - The Bosporus - still searching for that warm water access to the high seas.

Anonymous said...

Erdogen has no one but himself to blame for the attack.

1. Off the books support for Syrian Rebels
2. Focus on supporting Islamist rebels
3. Reduction of freedom/ democracy in Turkey
4. Picking a fight with the Kurds including shelling into Syria, threats of invasion if the invade Islamist areas on Turkeys border, etc.
5. Being pro Islamist

Why the rapproachment?

1. Russia has huge influence with Turkish Kurds. Lots of Moscow funding in the past with uses of bases in Syria.
2. Turkish economy is hurting.
3. Israel and Russia are best buddies.
4. Israeli natural gas deposits

Another Anon