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The underside of Turkish support for US strikes in Syria

SYRIA (OBSERVATORY) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other state officials in Ankara spoke out in favor of missile strikes by the US-France-UK trio against Russia.

But what is Ankara looking for in the conflict in Syria? The Persian-language edition of the Sputnik agency on Monday, April 16th, looks into this question.

In a statement, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it was a proportionate response to the use of chemical weapons in Duma, while for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, through these attacks, the Western Front transmitted a message to the leaders of the countries of the region, in that the massacres in Syria would not remain unanswered. Erdogan therefore poses as a defender of attacks that – everyone knows – were a masquerade in the name of the conscience of humanity.

According to Vladimir Ahmedov of the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies, even before the outbreak of the crisis in Syria, Ankara-Damascus relations were not without difficulty. At one time, the two countries almost even came into armed confrontation because of disputes over the province of Hatay (a province bordering Turkey Syria). However, cooperation between the two neighboring countries increased in the late 1990s in the area of ​​trade and intelligence.

Turkey, a member of NATO itself, did not contribute militarily to the April 14 strikes against targets in Syria; it therefore limited itself to expressing a verbal support for the American-French-British strikes, recalls the Russian analyst, Vladimir Ahmedov.

Turkey intends to consolidate its positions in Aleppo and Idlib where Syrian armed opponents are acting, which it supports. In principle, the creation of the FSA (Free Syrian Army) would not have been imaginable without Turkish support, recalls the article.

The US-Franco-British strikes of 14 April against Syria had a largely propagandist, rather than military, aspect with a message to the opponents of Assad, in that they could count on direct support from outside from Syria and in this context, supporting Syrian opponents could be in line with Ankara’s interests.

Turkey is concerned to rule out any action that favors Kurdish separatist leanings in areas of Syria near the Syrian-Turkish borders; however, the recent strikes by three NATO countries against targets in Syria have, to a certain extent, diverted public opinion around the world from Turkish military operations in Afrin, known as the Olive Branch, Ahmedov adds, referring to a Russian scholar.

When the United States announced some time ago that it intended to create an army of 33,000 Kurdish troops along the northern borders of Syria, the Turks were deeply concerned.

By its verbal support for the recent Western limited attacks against targets in Syria, Turkey has also sought to reconcile with the United States which it demands extradition of Fethullah Gülen, the man who, according to Ankara, would have been the origin of the failed coup d’état of July 15, 2016, adds the article published on the site of the agency Sputnik.