Published On: Sat, Oct 1st, 2016

What is Turkey after in Syrian territory?


If this question is forwarded to a Turkish high official nowadays, the answer would be “fighting against the Islamic State and preventing a Kurdish corridor to the south of its Syrian border”. However, the picture does not seem to be like this at all when one considers the developments most recently.

As interpreted by experienced veterans in international politics, Turkey seems to be caught again without a clear cut strategy in Syria and looks as if it does not have definite plans  to show which direction it is really heading. In the first place experts say “It says it is fighting IS but it is not clear how it will do this. Turkey has limits to what it can do by itself that is without the support of US led coalition. In fact there is no way Turkey could be unaware of this.”

Another opinion is ““When Turkey first went into Syria, it declared its target was to clear the border region from IS. This was logical and feasible as well. On the other hand said operation also prevented the PYD from establishing a Kurdish corridor along the Turkish border. However it is not clear, what Turkey aims to achieve when the officials says it is planning to move further south by 45 kilometers. At this point we need to think its intention is to block the PYD rather than establish a safe zone Moreover the question is if it does move south, are Turkish officials not good enough to advice Erdoğan it would be a very difficult task – if not mission impossible – to hold on to the territory there despite some tanks (maybe a hundred or more) as the challenge there cannot be considered a classic war. To make things even worse it is very likely Turkey could face opposition from the US as well as Russia if it insists on pushing southward.  So it is  a truly grey situation where  no one can really tell what is in Erdoğan’s mind. In fact no one could be sure about if he had a clear target and a plan in his own mind either.”

So one might as well comment “God help Turkey” – as well as all other parties certainly (especially innocent people) suffering from this situation.

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