Why the Islamic State Targets Muslim Countries Like Turkey
In addition to ideological concerns, the group can't afford to lose access to Syria's northern border, so it has responded to Turkish-backed rebel offensives there with multiple terrorist attacks.
Over the past week, the Islamic State has attacked Bangladesh, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. But they've been particularly active in Turkey. Why does the terror organization target that country?
There are a couple of reasons. Turkey is a democratic country with a secular constitution. It's a member of NATO, in talks with the European Union, an ally of the United States and a new friend of Israel. Even with the conservative social policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey is antithetical to everything the Islamic State wants to create.
It wasn't always this way. When the Islamic State captured Mosul, Iraq, in June 2014, it kidnapped 46 Turkish diplomats and their families. Ankara refused to join Washington in attacking the Islamic State as retaliation. Instead, they focused on securing a release of the hostages. For months, the Islamic State kept the Turkish hostages in order to maintain this tenuous balance, and Ankara and the Islamic State entered into a "cold war"...