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TURKEY’S authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered the deadly 2014 jihadist attack on Kobane in northern Syria, a senior Isis commander alleged today.
Taha Abdurrahim Abdullah, a close confidant of Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – who died earlier this week – was captured by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces militia alliance in March this year.
He told his captors Mr Erdogan had insisted that Isis attack the largely Kurdish border town in northern Syria in September 2014, despite the jihadists’ reluctance.
“We [Isis] were preparing war, but our goal was to move to Damascus, not Kobane,” he claimed under interrogation.
“[Former Isis leader] Baghdadi wanted Kobane to be attacked. We objected to this situation. But he refused. We suffered heavy losses in Kobane.
“Later, we learned that the reason why Bagdadi turned our direction to Kobane overnight was the insistence of the Turks. The Turks wanted to attack Kobane. Erdogan insisted,” Mr Abdullah alleged.
The jihadists captured around 350 largely Kurdish villages surrounding Kobane during the offensive, causing some 300,000 people to flee for their lives, and also conquered some districts of the town.
A six-month siege followed, with Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) putting up fierce resistance.
The YPG lifted the siege in January 2015 and retook control of the villages by mid March, helped by US air strikes.
However, around 70 per cent of Kobane was destroyed in the battle.
Mr Abdullah also claimed that the slain Isis leader’s replacement was chosen for his close links to the Turkish state.
Abdullah Qardas, also known as Haci Abdullah, was announced as the new Isis leader following Mr Baghdadi’s death.
Saying that Mr Qardas also calls himself “Ebu Omer Turkmeni,” Mr Abdullah claimed: “He uses this name to appease the Turkish state and to deepen his relations with them.”
He said Isis were regrouping and “would not stop,” with the death of its former leader having no impact on the death cult.
Mr Erdogan has long been accused of supporting jihadist terror groups.
European intelligence reports have claimed that he commissioned the Isis suicide attacks on an Ankara peace rally in 2015 that killed at least 109 people.
In August, it was revealed that the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation had been smuggling scores of former Isis fighters across borders to lead battalions in the occupation of Afrin, which Ankara’s military invaded in January 2018.
Turkey is also alleged to have been the main buyer of oil originating from Isis sources in Iraq.
In late 2015, Mr Erdogan and his family were accused by Russia of personally benefiting from the criminal oil trade.
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