(WMR)—WMR’s Russian, Turkish, and Arab sources are reporting increased traffic via Turkey of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters to Ukraine and vice versa. Many of the ISIL guerrillas are ethnic Chechens who have either citizenship of or permanent residency in the Republic of Georgia.
Moreover, ISIL has been selling oil from areas it occupies in Syria and Iraq to Ukraine via Turkish middlemen. ISIL/Jabhat al Nusra/Al Qaeda fighters, many of them Chechens but also some Syrian Arabs, are also suspected of assisting neo-Nazi Ukrainian Right Sector and “Maidan Self-Defense Force” paramilitaries in carrying out the massacre of 48 Russian-speakers inside Odessa’s House of Trade Unions last May. Ironically, some of these ISIL units have also fought in eastern Ukraine alongside Ukrainian paramilitary battalions, including the Azov Battalion, funded by Ukrainian-Israeli billionaire oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. In return for their assistance in Ukraine, ISIL units are receiving military support in Syria and Iraq from Ukrainian military and paramilitary sources.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has just inaugurated a 1,000-room opulent “white palace” in Beştepe, outside of Ankara on a farm that once belonged to the Turkish Republic’s founder Mustapha Kemal Ataturk, is increasingly seeing himself as a modern-day Seljuk emperor, according to our sources in Turkey. The new palace encompasses both Seljuk and Ottoman architectural designs. In fact, Erdogan has stated that Ankara is ultimately a “Seljuk capital.” The Seljuk Empire, which preceded the Ottoman Empire, ruled over what is today Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and much of the Caucasus, including Chechnia. It is no coincidence that ISIL draws most of its volunteers from countries that made up the Seljuk Empire.
Recently, ISIL guerrillas did not attack the tomb located in Kobani, Syria of Süleyman Sah, the grandfather of the first Ottoman emperor Osman I. Although ISIL has destroyed other shrines, including Christian, Alawite, Kurdish, Shi’a, and Yazidi, in Syria and Iraq, it did not harm the tomb that is venerated by the Turks.
In fact, ISIL and Turkish forces have been photographed embracing one another on the Turkish-Syrian frontier in Kobani as ISIL forces pound Syrian Kurdish forces trying to maintain control of the city. In addition, Turkey has said it will assist in the U.S. coalition against ISIL only if members of the “Syrian Free Army” can enter Kobani and other parts of Syria. Syrian and Iraqi Kurds are well aware that the Syrian Free Army is a ruse and that these forces make up Erdogan’s mercenary army of Chechens and radical Arab takfiris, what amounts to a modern Janissary army. The Janissaries were mercenaries, many of them Christians forced to convert to Islam, who fought for the Ottoman emperor.
The number of Christian converts to Islam who are said to have joined ISIL ranks from countries as far away as Australia, Canada, the United States, and Trinidad appear to be a replay of the Janissary Army that fought for the Ottomans. Instead of an Ottoman emperor directing these forces, it is a Turkish president who has dreams of restoring a hybrid of the Seljuk and Ottoman empires. Erdogan’s dalliance with the right-wing regime in Kiev is part of his long-term plans to absorb the Crimean peninsula, now part of Russia, into his recreated empire with the Crimean Tatars, who Erdogan believes are Turks, in charge of the region once again under Turkish suzerainty.
President Obama continues to rely on Erdogan for advice on how to handle the ISIL threat. The relationship is encouraged by CIA Director John Brennan who maintains an unhealthy relationship with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, major financial supporters of ISIL. The Saudis and Qataris, although skittish about the neo-Ottoman plans of Erdogan, with the Saudis particularly nervous about Erdogan’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, see him as a counterweight to Iran.
Erdogan’s first goal is to eliminate the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian government’s pan-Arab nationalist policies and roots are seen as a threat to Erdogan’s grand design of imposing Turkish “neo-Seljuk” rule over Syria and its Arab neighbors. Erdogan also wants to see Iraq come under Turkey’s sphere of influence, with his ISIL mercenaries in charge in Baghdad ensuring the end of the Shi’a-dominated government of Iraq. Eventually, Erdogan wants to see an end to the Iranian Shi’a theocracy with Turkey imposing a government influenced by Ankara in Tehran. These steps would ensure the re-emergence of a neo-Seljuk empire stretching from Istanbul to Tehran and Crimea to Mecca.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
Copyright © 2014 WayneMadenReport.com
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).