Latest ISIS Beheading Is a Warning to Turkey: Stay Out of Coalition

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The militant group ISIS has beheaded three Western hostages, two from the United States and one from Britain, and is now threatening to murder a fourth British citizen. But it’s sending a message to a country far from either of those places — Turkey.

ISIS is holding 49 Turkish hostages, a matter so serious in Turkey that it is illegal there to talk about the subject. And ISIS wants Turkey to stay out of the American-led coalition devoted to wiping out the militants.

Turkey could be an especially useful coalition partner: It has a powerful military, and it shares a long border with Syria. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spent two days in the capital Ankara last week to lobby for Turkish backing while acknowledging the Turks' "sensitive issues."


— Richard Engel