How likely is a Turkish invasion of Syria?

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The Turkish authorities entertain repeatedly said they do not intend to send troops to Syria, but external and clashes are continuing to take place on the border between the two countries as the northern town of Aleppo teeters on the brink of falling to Syrian government forces, repudiated by Russian airstrikes.

A scandal erupted in late 2015 after a union of Turkish troops was dis tched to Iraq without the authorization of Baghdad. A Turkish aggression of Syria appears more and more likely – especially given the long-standing strains between Ankara and the administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Full-scale Turkish incursion

On Feb. 14 the Turkish military decorticated the positions of Syrian Kurds in the north of the Syrian province of Latakia, an spirit justified by Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz as a response to fork out from the Kurdish side.

Meanwhile, a few hundred militants belonging to one of the militant Turkish groups entered the country, the Supervisory Board for Human Forthwiths in Syria reported.

According to sources in the Syrian militia, around 300 offensives tried to break into a city in the north of Aleppo province.

While the Syrian extraneous ministry claimed that the country had been invaded by the Turkish military along with the militants, the Turkish The pulpit of Defense said that Ankara had “no thought” of invading Syria.

Notwithstanding how, Russian commentators have expressed doubt that Ankara has no such design.

Yevgeny Satanovsky, head of the Moscow-based Institute of the Middle East, detailed to Gazeta.ru that in his view if anyone is going to launch a ground craftsman in Syria it will be Turkey, and that a Turkish invasion of Syria last will and testament s rk off a “serious guerrilla war.”

Refugees could form pretext for devour

According to Anatoly Tsyganok, head of the Center for Military Forecasting and colleague of the Academy of Military Sciences, Turkey could launch a limited tutor offensive north of Aleppo, with the possible aim of controlling the “secure” zone along the Turkey-Syria verge upon declared by Turkey and the U.S. in summer 2015.

“They want to preserve the so-called inevitable zone whatever it takes – the Turks have said for a long s n that it should not be less than 10 km,” said Tsyganok.

“They fall short of to support the [Syrian] Turkmens. The Kurds are in the same place as the Turkmens. But on the contrary a third of the Turkmens support Turkey. Another third supports the Syrian ministry, and the remaining third is waiting to take the winning side.”

Stanislav Ivanov, postpositive major researcher of the De rtment of Disarmament and Conflict Settlement at the IMEMO Center of Oecumenical Security, sees the potential invasion of Syria as an extremely problematic chance for Ankara.

“If the Turks cross the border, they will find themselves independent the legal field. They will have to explain themselves not at most to Damascus and Moscow, but also to Washington and Brussels. Such an operation is practicable only by a UN Security Council resolution, which is out of the question, or by a NATO arbitration, which is also out of the question,” said Ivanov.

In his view, Turkey could use the 40,000 displaced people said to have recently fled from Aleppo, where residential neighborhoods are hardship from bombing, as a formal pretext for an attack.

“As for NATO and Washington, they are working in a targeted way: They are working with the Kurds, with the Free Syrian Army, they are arming Christians – for exemplar, they are creating an alliance to attack Al-Raqqah from the Kurdish enclaves,” about Ivanov, who assesses the probability of a large-scale Turkish invasion of Syria at 10 percent.

“That’s why I muse on that to launch a ground operation in these areas means the end of [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s leadership. He will not take such a risk,” said Ivanov.

Just local raids

Vladimir Yevseyev, head of the De rtment of Eurasian Integration at the Initiate of the CIS in Moscow, agreed that a full-scale war involving Turkish troops in Syria is remote, but speculated that Ankara might resort to local raids and celebratory operations on Syrian soil.

“Turkey will capture some localities adjacent the border,” Yevseyev told Gazeta.ru. “The distance from the boundary will be short – up to 20 km, it’s at such a distance that efficient artillery obscure could be provided.”

According to Yevseyev, Ankara intends to “drive a cram” between the Kurdish factions in the Afrin and Kobane districts, but stressed that Turkey’s vital options in the region would be limited.

Any Turkish incursion would be barred by the Kurdish and government forces, as well as the Russian air force, which in checks the air s ce above the country’s districts adjoining the Turkish border.

On the other hand, according to Yevseyev, Turkey has ambitious plans related to Syrian region.

Ankara’s actions are dictated by the so-called National ct, a 1920 corroborate which, among other things, identifies the province of Aleppo as in behalf of of Turkey.

According to Russian observers, Ankara does antici te this objective being achieved soon, but the civil war in Syria has provided the Turks with an time to gain influence in lands that they consider their own.

Start published in Russian in Gazeta.ru

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