Whenever there is major terror attack like the ones we saw at Suruc, Diyarbakir and Ankara, we start debating about the ease with which the Islamic State crosses borders and then we forget about it. The 98-kilometer (61-mile) stretch of border that has the only two openings between IS and the rest of the world, the Jarablus and Al Rai crossings across from Turkey’s Gaziantep and Kilis, has been the main point of contention between Turkey and the United States. During the recent visit of Vice President Joe Biden to Istanbul, recovering Jarablus from IS was again on the agenda. Turkey has declared the movement of Kurds west of the Euphrates River and their attempt to form a Kurdish corridor a red line.
The roads from Kilis to Jarablus and Al Rai have been the scenes of some strange events over the past few years. The government, under pressure to control the militants' border access, has been erecting walls at key crossing points. The measures have caused some reduction in this traffic, but not stopped it entirely.