Secretary of State John Kerry said late Tuesday that Islamic State is targeting airports because they’re “desperate.”
While no terror group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport that left 41 people dead and 239 others injured, a senior Turkish official told the Associated Press that initial indications suggested ISIS were behind the attack. According to Reuters, a police source also told the Dogan News Agency, "ISIS is behind the attack."
Kerry was speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, according to CBS News. He referred to the Islamic State terror group as Daesh and said that the group’s recent attacks on airports are signs their power is weakening.
"It has been more than one year since Daesh has actually launched a full scale military offensive, and that's because our coalition is moving relentlessly on every front," Kerry said. "Now, yes, you can bomb an airport, you can blow yourself up. That's the tragedy. Daesh and others like it know that we have to get it right 24/7/365. They have to get it right for ten minutes or one hour, so it's a very different scale.
"And if you're desperate and if you know you are losing, and you know you want to give up your life, then obviously you can do some harm,” Kerry added.
Kerry said officials are still trying to determine who committed the atrocity in Istanbul and wouldn’t comment further on the attack.
The attack occurred one day before the two-year anniversary of ISIS declaring a caliphate across large swathes of Iraq and Syria, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks and the Brussels airport and subway bombings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.