ISIS threatens to spread if Turkey invades northern Syria

A feared Turkish invasion of northeast Syria could spark a resurgence of the Islamic State group, analysts and Kurdish forces have warned, despite Ankara's pledge to prevent the jihadists' return.
        Ankara has threatened an offensive in Syria against Kurdish militias it considers terrorists and US forces on Monday pulled back from Turkish border areas, opening the way for

an invasion President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said could come at any moment. An open assault would reverse years of successful Kurdish-led operations to defeat IS and allow some of its surviving leaders to come out of hiding, said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdish militia that controls much of northeastern Syria. With little other leverage left in the regional game, Sam Heller of the International Crisis Group think tank, told AFP the SDF has an "interest" in warning of an IS threat if open conflict breaks out with rival Turkey. But the fact is that ISIS is still a threat, one that seems likely to metastasise if the SDF is forced to divert attention and resources... to a defensive battle against Turkey," he said, using another acronym for IS. While a Kurdish-led operation earlier this year saw the death of IS's territorial caliphate, the organisation isn't dead and sleeper cells have been active in SDF-held areas and in Syria's vast desert where they continue to hit regime forces with deadly attacks and ambushes. Charles Lister, director of the US-based Middle East Institute, said US President Donald Trump was "granting IS the gift of rebirth". The US military itself has warned that, short of sustained international pressure, IS would soon have the ability to regroup. The battle against IS is not over," Abdulkarim Omar, the top Kurdish foreign affairs official, told AFP Monday. There are hundreds of sleeper cells in recently liberated areas," he said.

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