“I think the Turks have a lot of work to do, in terms of the level of their cooperation. This is a war. And they certainly aren’t treating it that way,” Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr said.
Reports say the ISIL terrorist group has been sending its members to Turkish port cities where, posing as refugees, they use boats or hide in cargo ships to travel to Europe.
The ISIL has threatened to conduct attacks on targets in Europe and the US. Turkey has long been criticized for its stance towards the terror group.
“We are certainly very concerned with the exodus of foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq,” House Intelligence ranking member Adam Schiff said.
“We continue to have a problem along the Turkish border, specifically with ISIS’s ability to move money and fighters across the border largely unmolested,” Schiff added, using another acronym for ISIL.
Schiff said the Turkish border remains “far too porous,” and that US officials are in talks with the Turkish government to try to prevent ISIL movements through the country.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a leading hawk on Capitol Hill, also called on Turkey “to step up its game” and stop the flow of terrorists through its borders. “The key to this is Turkey,” he said.
The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, are engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.
Late last year, the Turkish government agreed to let US-led coalition forces use its military bases for operations against ISIL terrorists, as well as train some 4,000 “moderate” militants fighting the Syrian government, US officials said in October.