So, with the inescapable understanding
that Turkey’s government is the primary supporter and sponsor of
terrorist groups in Syria, the justification for war becomes flimsy at
best. But, if it’s not about fighting terror, then what exactly is
Ankara’s objective? What does it hope to gain?
At the top of Erdogan’s agenda is using
ISIS as a pretext for effecting the regime change in Syria that he has
failed to bring about for these past four years. Despite providing
weapons and cash, training sites and political cover, Turkey’s terror
proxies have been roundly defeated by the Syrian Arab Army, Hezbollah,
and allied forces. As such, Erdogan now needs to provide the
overwhelming military superiority required to get the job done. This
means air support and a “No Fly Zone” along the Turkey-Syria border, one
which ostensibly will allow Turkey to fight ISIS, but in actuality is a
means of securing territory for the terrorists who otherwise have been
unable to do so. It is a de facto military intervention into Syria.
Perhaps not even de facto, but outright declaration of war – a clear war
Secondly, the alleged war on ISIS is a
politically expedient cover for Erdogan to wage a full-scale war on the
Kurds, and the PKK specifically. Within hours of announcing the new
phase of the war, Turkish forces were bombing Kurdish targets in Syria and Iraq,
effectively declaring war on both countries, in blatant violation of
international law, to whatever extent such a thing still exists.
But of course, were Turkey the only relevant party, these developments
would not be of nearly the same global significance. Rather, it is the
participation and collusion of the US and NATO that makes this troubling
escalation far more dangerous.