ISIS threatens Erdoğan in newly released video
The Islamic State (ISIS) on Wednesday released a video in Turkish threatening Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.
ISIS is thought to be responsible for a series of attacks in Turkey that killed hundreds of people from 2015 until its latest attack on the morning of January 1, 2017 at an Istanbul night club.
"Hey, Erdoğan, the arrogant tyrant of Turkey, do not think the swords of the caliphate's soldiers are far away from you," dpa quoted one of the Turkish-speaking ISIS members in the video as saying.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-declared caliph of ISIS, appeared in a video on Apr. 29, saying that ISIS will eventually win in a war of attrition against the "Crusaders". At some point in the video, he was given a folder titled Wilayat Turkey, Province of Turkey in Arabic. Wednesday's video was also given the same title.
Following his conversation with Erdoğan last November about the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, U.S. President Donald Trump said the Turkish President would "eradicate whatever is left" of ISIS in Syria.
"Know that standing among the ranks of the Crusaders will not help you against the soldiers of the caliphate," dpa quoted the militant as saying.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on May 17 said that security forces across Turkey, including Istanbul and Ankara, were on alert against security threats. The interior minister said that security forces had been quietly preventing dozens of attacks in Turkey without public knowledge.
''ISIS is mobilised at a rate never seen in last two or two-and-a-half years. All of our security units are on alert with regards to the matter,'' Soylu said.
In the early years of the Syrian civil war, Turkey had been accused of helping the rise of ISIS by neglecting the country's border control. According to various reports, Turkish border cities were the leading logistical hubs for foreign fighters seeking to enter Syria and Iraq to join ISIS and other rebel groups.