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ISIS has claimed responsibility for the shooting in a nightclub in Istanbul on New Year’s Eve, in which a gunman – who is still at large – killed 39 people, most of whom foreign nationals and many of them from the Middle East, but an analyst warns that this could just be a precursor to an ISIS end game to target Saudi oil facilities.
According to Iran’s Fars news agency, Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm newspaper, has warned that Islamic State plans to attack Saudi oil facilities and strike at the interests of the countries that are members of the anti-ISIS coalition.
Atwan notes that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has ordered attacks on oil facilities and interests of the countries fighting ISIS, and this order was directed at Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf Arab countries or Libya, again according to the Iranian news agency.
ISIS plans retaliation after Syrian and Iraqi armies and their allies scored recent victories against the terrorist group, Atwan has warned, the Tehran-based Fars news agency said.
The recent spate of terrorist attacks in Turkey is a clear message to the country that it could no longer be safe, the Iranian agency said, quoting Atwan.
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“Turkey may sustain the most damage of this development; specially after it joined the anti-ISIL war after years of delay,” Fars news agency said, quoting Atwan.
According to UK’s newspaper the Guardian, which quoted reports, 11 of the Istanbul nightclub victims were Turkish nationals, 1 had a dual Turkish-Belgian citizenship, 7 victims were Saudis, 3 were each from Lebanon and Iraq, 2 each from Tunisia, India, Morocco and Jordan, and 1 each from Kuwait, Canada, Israel, Syria and Russia.
Meanwhile, immediately after the attack, Turkish jets struck 8 ISIS targets, and tanks and artillery bombed and fired at 103 ISIS targets near al-Bab in Syria, killing 22 people, according to the Anadolu Agency.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.