Turkey uses Turkmen ISIS members

The Turkish state has brought Turkmen ISIS members and their families from refugee camps in Azaz and Idlib to Turkey and released them.

On 27 February 2019 the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) arrested the ISIS member Erkan Abdulrahman Hussein Mohammed (Abu Abdullah Iraqi) while he tried to go to Turkey. The jihadist comes from Tal Afar in Iraq and belongs to the Turkmen population. ANF had the opportunity to interview the ISIS terrorist in custody. He tells that 75 percent of the ISIS jihadists who managed to escape the encirclement in Iraq and Syria have fled to Turkey. Abu Abdullah Iraqi says that Turkish soldiers brought ISIS families from camps in Azaz 2018 and those in Idlib in 2019 to Turkey and released them there. The Turkish state assigns a special role to the Turkmen ISIS jihadists in its plans for Turkey and Syria, to establish a Turkmen belt. Turkey has meanwhile become the safest retreat for ISIS jihadists.

Jihadism lessons in Bucca prison

The ISIS member Erkan Abdulrahman Hussein Mohammed was already one of the sympathizers of jihadist groups in Iraq in 2005, was arrested by US troops and imprisoned in the US Bucca prison. During his detention he is taught jihadism by Abu-Abdulrahman Ambari who later becomes a founding member of ISIS. Erkan Abdulrahman Hussein Mohammed is known to the US under the name Muhammed Salih Yunus Attayi, he is released in 2008 and marries a Turkmen woman. In 2010 he joins the Al-Qaeda offshoot Islamic State in Iraq.

In the prisoners committee of the ISIS

He starts working on the ISIS Committee for Prisoners known as Hayat al-Asra. After the ISIS occupation of Mosul in 2014, he is part of the group that publicly swears allegiance to the ISIS. In the ISIS he is known under the code names "Abbas Mektep" and "Abu Abullah Iraqi".

Between 2014 and 2015 he works in the prisoners committee of the ISIS. In 2015 he starts working as an administrator with Abu Ali Enze, Emir for the Iraqi Jazira province (Tal Afar and surroundings). He then goes to Hajin in north-eastern Syria.

There he works in an administrative centre and later joins the Lijne Mufava (Aides of Imam), the highest administration of ISIS after Baghdadi. He is then transferred back to the Committee for "Prisoners and Martyrs" on the orders of Taha Abdulrahim Abdulla (Hadschi Abdulnasir), who is currently in SDF custody.

Turkish secret service gives new ID

While Til Afar was surrounded, he sent his family to Mosul to surrender to Peshmerga. While in Hajin in north-eastern Syria, he organized the transfer of his family via smugglers from Peshmerga-controlled Hamam Ali Camp in Iraq to Turkey. Abu Abdullah Iraqi tells us that the families of tens of thousands of ISIS jihadists live in Turkey and that his family lives in an apartment in Ankara.

The jihadist reports that the Turkmen ISIS families living in Turkey are financially supported by the Turkmen Front in Iraq. He continues: "Our families are free in Turkey, but the women can move more comfortably than the men. The men are always worried about being recognized. Since life in Turkey is expensive, some families have had to return to Iraq. However, the majority still live in Turkey. The Turkish secret service has given them refugee identity cards. It knows where they live and also has their telephone numbers. If the families go to another city, they inform the secret service immediately."

Money for 4,000 Turkmen families

Abu Abdullah Iraqi reports that after going to Hajin from Iraq, they began sending money to Turkmen families in Turkey on the orders of high-ranking ISIS commander Taha Abdurahim Abdullah (Haci Abdulnasır). He tells: "When I went to Hajin in 2017, I was working in the general administration. One day Abu Mugheyya came to me and said Haci Abdulnasir wanted to see me. Haci Abdulnasir wanted me to work on the martyrs and prisoners of Tal Afar. We sent money to the martyrs' families every six months. 90 percent of the Turkmen families from Tal Afar were in Turkey. I had received the order to send them money from Haci Abdulnasir. Some of us had even rented villas, but we sent each of them a maximum rent of 100 dollars per person. The vast majority had several wives. They received 50 dollars for each woman and 25 dollars for each child. We paid money to about 4,000 Turkmen martyr families every six months. The money was given to their relatives here sent to them via transmitters."

Turkey brought ISIS families from camps to Turkey

The jihadist reports how the Turkish military took Turkmen ISIS families from the refugee camps in Azaz and Idlib in 2018 and 2019 and brought them to Turkey. He tells: "They took the Syrian and Iraqi Turkmen families to Ankara and other places. Among them were many ISIS families. Some of them had lost their men and some of them had their men arrested in Iraq and Baghdad. They took these families with them and released them in Turkey. In 2018 all Turkmen families from the camps in Azaz were brought to Turkey by the Turkish army soldiers. I was in Hajin then. A friend next to me spoke with his family and was very happy. They had released them all in Turkey. Later other friends with families in that camp told the same. During my captivity there another ISIS prisoner from Iraq told me that the Turkmen were brought from the camp in Idlib to Turkey by Turkish soldiers in 2019. They were exclusively Turkmen families. Among them there were very few ordinary refugees, the majority were Turkmen ISIS families. The men of some of the women in the camp were arrested by FSA and the Turkish secret service knew they were ISIS families."

The majority of ISIS jihadists went to Turkey

Abu Abdullah Iraqi continues, reporting that tens of thousands of ISIS jihadists and families traveled to Turkey during the fighting over Tal Afar and then Hajin. He says, "75 percent of those who managed to escape from the encirclement in Iraq and Syria have gone to Turkey. Since the majority of ISIS jihadists and their families were in Turkey, attacks in Turkey were banned from the end of 2018. This is what my ISIS friends in Turkey told me."

Arrested on the way to Turkey

Abu Abdullah himself tried to go to Turkey with his second wife and their children with the help of a smuggler. While they tried to escape from Hajin on 27 February 2019, they were arrested by the SDF. The first thing he reports about his arrest is that he wanted to go to Turkey. Asked about the reason, he changes his answer and says: "Not to Turkey, I wanted to go to Idlib. I told Haci Abdulnasir that I would leave Hajin. He allowed it. An ISIS friend told me that the conditions in Turkey were good and that I could go there. But I feared that I could not work there because I stayed in Bucca and therefore I am known and wouldn’t be much comfortable in Turkey. That is why I wanted to go to Idlib. Another friend told me that the border between Turkey and Idlib was very safe. I wanted to go there with my family and settle there".

The emirs just left us behind

Abu Abdullah Iraqi says that in retrospect he would not join the ISIS today: "By 2017 our emirs all run away and left us. They had themselves taken to safe areas by trusted smugglers. To strike back, only the poor like us remained. When I experienced this, I did not want to believe it myself. They left behind women and children, all in the encirclement. If we had known it would be like this, we would not have joined."

Why especially Turkmen jihadists?

The Turkmen population has played a special role in the plans of the Turkish war since the beginning of the civil war in Syria. If possible, the intention is to found a Turkmen state, if not, then the Turkmen are at least meant to be used for Turkish interests in Syria. For this reason, the MIT founded groups such as the Sultan Murad Brigade, the Suleyman Shah Brigade and many other similar militias.

The Syrian-Turkmen Council was founded at a meeting that Erdoğan himself attended in Ankara on 30 March 2013. This council tried to bring the establishment of a Turkmen state structure in Syria step by step on the agenda.

The Turkish state supported the ISIS with all means to counter the autonomous administration and the population of Northern Syria and started from 2016 with the invasion of the Shehba region to reorganize the ISIS jihadists under the banner of the "FSA". The MIT placed ISIS jihadists in virtually all groups. The Turkish state relied most on the Turkmen ISIS terrorists. These were integrated into the Turkmen groups. Turkey received a special boost in recruits from the ISIS during the SDF’s operation for Manbij and the expulsion of the ISIS by the YPG/YPJ defense units. The majority of the escaped ISIS jihadists were integrated into police and military structures or into the "FSA". Since 2017, Turkey has been the safest heaven for ISIS jihadists. The country opened its borders wide to them. Since March 2019, the ISIS families and jihadists have been banded together, and housed as “refugees” in camps.

The Turkish state stationed the Turkmen militias, in which many ISIS members are particularly active, in the areas of Idlib’s Jabal Akrad, Jabal Turkman, Bab al-Hawa border crossing, Antarib, in Afrin’s Jindires, Bilbilê and Shera districts, at the Bab al-Salama border crossing in Azaz and in the areas near the border in Jarablus.

Today, the settlement and stationing of such troops also begins along the border in the occupied territory between Girê Spî (Tall Abyad) and Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain). Many of the Turkmen ISIS families are expected to be settled in these areas.

A news article by ANF correspondent Ersin Çaksu revels that the Turkish secret service MIT and the Migration Service are working together to colonize a five-kilometer-wide strip between the occupied Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî with the families of the SNA militiamen.