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Turkey's Delicate Balance on the ISIL

Now that Turkey's 46 citizens held hostage by the ISIL have been returned home following a "detailed and secret operation", no publicly announced declarations in respect to Turkey's role in the fight against the ISL are expected. While Turkey, prior to gaining freedom of its diplomatic staff and children kidnapped by the ISIL from the Turkish Consulate in Mosul, Iraq in June, appeared skeptical and hesitant to jump head first into a concerted fight against the ISIL out of fear for the safety of its kidnapped people, is not expected to make any major declarations against the ISIL at this time.

It is not to infer that Turkey does not support the coalition against the ISIL, for Turkey has already pledged humanitarian assistance to the cause, rather for the reason that Turkey sits in an unique position in relation to Iraq, Syria and the ISIL. Whatever else apart from humanitarian aid Turkey supplies to the coalition cause should be kept confidential. Turkey, with a large young tech and social-media savvy population, remains vulnerable to recruitment drives by the ISIL. That the ISIL does not have thousands of supporters(not members) within Turkey would be to stretch the truth.

Turkey's youthful population has seen the atrocities committed by the Bashar al-Assad's regime upon the Syrian people. Thousands of Turks have been touched by the deaths of so many innocent children, women and men at the hands of Syrian forces. On the other hand, they have received the ISIL messages of fighting Assad, they have received the ISIL messages calling for Jihad, they have received the ISIL messages calling for and establishing a Caliphate, and they have seen the shocking images of beheading by the ISIL. Of two competing brutes, Turkish youths have had to distinguish between the original brute - Assad, and the ISIL. They have reasoned that Assad is still there, thus, many Turks view the ISIL and its operations as reacting to Assad's crimes against humanity.

To not ignite nor stoke any fires at home and to appear to be neutral in the complex struggle ahead, Turkey has taken a delicate understandable balance in the fight against the ISIL.

However, at some point in time soon, Turkey - already housing 847,000 Syrian refugees from Assad's war, and which over the past three days has taken in some 66,000 Syrian Kurds crossing into Turkey from Syria fleeing the ISIL, will have to ratchet up its actions against the ISIL as many fighters, who crossed the Turkish border to fight in Syria, traverse back the Turkish border in retreat from Syria. Turkey's proposed buffer zones along its long border with Syria and Iraq could factor effectively in the conclusion of the defeat of the ISIL.