Turkey’s war against ISIS
Dear USTN members,
Our series of "Let the record be set straight" continues with a new action campaign - this time to do our part as grassroots to fight the attempts to ignore, overlook, minimize and outright falsify Turkey's military contribution in the war against ISIS since 2014. 
Please send this action letter to your local elected officials and media. Of course, please customize it as necessary, such as by shortening it if so required by the email size restrictions of your local media. 
Thank you for being active!
USTN Board


Dear editor:

It seems Turkey’s war against ISIS and military contribution to the U.S.-led coalition to destroy this terrorist organization is being consistently ignored by the mass media.

That’s especially insulting considering that Turkey has been the first country which officially designated ISIS/ISIL as a terrorist organization. Strangely, U.S. still has not officially designated ISIS of Syria and Iraq as a terrorist organization – only their offshoots in Afghanistan, Libya, Bangladesh, Philippines, West Africa and Greater Sahara. Please see the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list maintained by the State Department: https://www.state.gov/foreign-terrorist-organizations/

In the years past, ISIS propaganda publications condemned Turkish government as one of many "apostate regimes" allying with the "crusaders". In the ISIS digital monthly “Konstantiniyye,” an article promised the "conquest of Istanbul" – Turkey’s largest city of some 20 million people. We all know what happens when ISIS conquers a city….

The Turkish military fought ISIS already in January 2014, that is five years ago. In September 2014, Turkey officially joined the U.S.-led coalition “Operation Inherent Resolve” to fight ISIS. That is earlier and more than what most NATO members can boast.

Aside from boots on the ground – Turkey is the only NATO country to actually face and fight ISIS directly on the ground – Turkey participated in some of the 237 airstrikes in Syria as part of the Operation Inherent Resolve.

Since July 2015, Turkey allowed the U.S. Air Force to use Incirlik and Diyarbakır air bases in southern Turkey for their airstrikes on ISIS.

Notably, since early November 2014, Turkish soldiers began training the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq, Turkey and Peshmerga confirmed, 'as part of the struggle against ISIL'.

By May 2016, Turkish military neutralized 1,172 ISIS militants. Then, from August 2016 till March 2017 Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkey neutralized 3,060 ISIS terrorists. By now the cumulative total of ISIS militants neutralized by Turkish military is probably around 5,000.

Basically, among NATO countries, Turkey is second only to the U.S. in its direct contribution of fighting ISIS. And considering the fact that Turkey borders both Syria and Iraq, it has sustained the highest casualties and human costs from fighting ISIS terrorists. It is unfortunate that this crucial contribution by Turkey, a 70-year old NATO and U.S. ally, is being ignored by media and pundits.
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