Turkey is betting on Aleppo rebels to get ISIS out of border area

Vice News reports: After the Islamic State’s November attack on Paris, carried out by European fighters returning from the Syrian battlefield, international efforts to close the terrorist group’s last route to and from Turkey have taken on a new urgency.

US officials have been publicly leaning on Turkey to immediately close its border with the Islamic State (IS) in Syria’s northern Aleppo province and deploy thousands of troops on the frontier. The Turkish government has proposed instead that Turkey and the US-led coalition first back Syrian rebels who can drive IS out of the area and create a rebel-controlled “safe zone.”

Amid this public back-and-forth, Turkey’s plan is already underway — and, according to rebels interviewed by VICE News, it is making some progress. The question is whether it can work fast enough to stop the two-way flow of would-be IS recruits heading to Syria and battle-hardened jihadists returning from Syria to terrorize Europe. [Continue reading…]

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