There is nothing farfetched about this claim: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has his own designs on the caliphate. If the Islamic State can fight against some of his enemies, such as Assad and the Kurds, he has no problem with that — he hopes to move in later and reap the benefits.
“Assad: Turkey Helping IS Fighters Enter Syria,” Sky News, March 30, 2015 (thanks to Thomas Pellow):
Jihadists who travel to Syria to join Islamic State are being “logistically and militarily” supported by Turkey on a daily basis, according to Bashar al Assad.
The Syrian president has accused his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of ignoring would-be terrorists as they attempt to cross the border between the two nations.
As many as 500 Britons are thought to have made their way to Syria to join the ranks of Islamic State – including three teenage girls from east London, who are now believed to be in the city of Raqqa, an IS stronghold.
The trio were last seen on CCTV at a bus station in Istanbul on 17 February.
Despite this, several terror suspects have been successfully captured in Turkey before they have managed to cross the border, including three teenage boys, who have since been arrested by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of terrorism offences.
In an interview with CBS, Mr Assad described President Erdogan as “somebody who’s suffering from political megalomania” – and labelled him a “Muslim Brotherhood fanatic”.
Speaking to Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes, the Syrian leader also warned that Islamic State has expanded its reach in his country considerably, even though US-led air strikes have tried to stymie the spread of the terror organisation.
“This is not regular war. It’s not about capturing land and gaining land. It’s about winning the hearts and minds of Syrians,” Mr Assad added.
The president also rejected allegations that his military helicopters had been used to drop barrel bombs and chlorine gas during the four-year civil war – and insisted such claims were “malicious propaganda against Syria”.
When asked why his administration’s legitimacy has been brought into disrepute by world leaders, he told Mr Rose: “Because the West, and especially the United States, doesn’t accept partners – they only accept followers….