Turkey monitored ISIS communications in Syria on a daily basis

Abdullah Bozkurt


Turkish intelligence had closely monitored communications of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and compiled reports based on the intercepts.

A survey of military intelligence briefs by Nordic Monitor has revealed that Turkish authorities were intimately familiar with ISIS movements and were eavesdropping on their communications on a daily basis. ISIS gains over the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian offshoot, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), in particular were recorded in the summary reports compiled by the Turkish General Staff.




A number of daily intelligence summary dispatches sent by the General Staff to security forces that summarized the important developments in Turkey’s neighborhood point out that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) picked up communication intercepts of ISIS militants through signals intelligence, which is run by MIT but operated mostly by military personnel in Turkey.




One brief dated July 28, 2016 includes conversations of ISIS militants recorded the previous day by Turkish intelligence when they were taking about a suicide bombing in Qamishli in which more than 100 YPG/PKK fighters including senior figures were killed. The brief also laid out the exact positions of ISIS groups in Syria vis-à-vis other groups as of the reporting date.




In a brief dated July 25, 2016 Turkish intelligence intercepted another ISIS communication in Syria in which militants were heard talking about an attack on Sirrin that killed more than 300 YPG and PKK fighters. In a brief dated June 30, 2016 the intercepted communications showed that ISIS had seized various pieces of equipment in a region called Bukmel by militants, among which were 12 reconnaissance planes, five trucks loaded with arms and various vehicles.

The secret documents confirm that Turkey kept a close eye on ISIS movements as well as anti-ISIS operations by the US-led coalition forces and Russian and Syrian government forces. Turkish authorities were well aware of ISIS actions, listening to conversations picked up by the signals intelligence intercepts.


30 Haziran 2016 İSÖZ A

Subscribe To Our Newsletter