Protesters Try to Storm Airbase Housing US Troops

Protesters Try to Storm Airbase Housing US Troops

( – A group of rioters supporting Hamas attempted to infiltrate a Turkish air base housing American military personnel on October 5.

The group, a few hundred strong, branched off from a larger demonstration held to support Hamas in its attack against Israel. The original protest was organized by the “IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation,” a Turkish Islamic organization known for its support of extremist groups. The group dubbed its demonstration the “Freedom Convoy for Palestine.”

Turkish police repelled the group with tear gas and water cannons. They successfully prevented the mob from infiltrating the base.

Bulent Yildirim, the IHH’s leader, previously told participants not to clash with police, claiming many of them also supported Palestine. However, he was among those exposed to tear gas during the attempted attack, according to a Turkish media outlet.

The convoy traveled from Istanbul earlier last week to the Turkish capital to coincide with a visit from Antony Blinken, the Biden administration’s Secretary of State. Blinken met with Turkish leaders to discuss providing more aid to civilians in the Gaza Strip. They also hoped to find ways to prevent the violence from expanding.

The incident is among many that have erupted across the globe since the surprise Hamas attack against Israel last month. A junior at Cornell University was arrested last week after threatening to kill Jewish students on campus in late October. Hamas supporters also sent threatening messages to a Jewish leader in France. Cities across the world have seen massive demonstrations held in support of Palestine. Some have, like the IHH protest, erupted into violence.

The United States has a formal allyship with Turkey. However, tensions have long existed between the two nations and seem to be building as the conflict continues. Turkish leaders have repeatedly supported terrorist groups. The Turkish people are also expressing more hostility towards the US. Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed that Hamas is just defending its own territory while saying that it is “not a terrorist organization.”

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