SPOTLIGHT: WHAT DOES ISTANBUL ATTACK SAY ABOUT ISIS?
After Tuesday night's gruesome attack at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, where the toll now stands at 42 people dead and 239 wounded, Turkish police launched a vast operation that led to the arrest of 13 suspects, AFP reports. Perhaps surprisingly, no organization has so far claimed responsibility for the attack in a country where acts of terror can come from different sources. Turkish authorities have indicated that they believe the Islamic State jihadist group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, is to blame. If confirmed, this could mark a shift in the war against the terror organization even as it loses ground in both Syria and Iraq.
- Ozgur Mumcu writes in Istanbul daily Cumhuriyet that those responsible for attacks in Turkey use the country to plan and carry out attacks. He blames the assault on the government's policy toward neighboring Syria, where jihadist groups like the Islamic State have flourished. "The fight against terrorism is left to luck and individual acts of heroism," Mumcu notes.
- An analysis in the The Washington Post said the attack appeared to set the stage for an outright war between Turkey and ISIS.
- Sources quoted in The New York Times struck a more cautious note, saying ISIS is "trying to have it both ways" by "punishing Turkey for starting to act against it" after years of at least passive support, while "leaving enough of a gray area that it avoids a full-on clash with a country that has been valuable to its operations."
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