News / Europe

    Turkish Politicians Warn of Intervention in Syria

    Soldiers carry ammunition as Turkish artillery fire from the border near Kilis toward northern Syria, in Kilis, Turkey, Feb. 15, 2016.
    Soldiers carry ammunition as Turkish artillery fire from the border near Kilis toward northern Syria, in Kilis, Turkey, Feb. 15, 2016.
    Dorian Jones

    The Turkish military confirmed Monday its forces shelled Syrian Kurdish positions of the PYG for a third consecutive day.

    During a visit to Ukraine, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned the PYG that it will face what he called the "fiercest response" if it makes further territorial gains.

    Ankara accuses the group of being a terrorist organization linked to the Kurdish rebel PKK, which Turkish forces are fighting in Turkey. 

    FILE - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addresses lawmakers in Ankara, Jan. 26, 2016.FILE - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addresses lawmakers in Ankara, Jan. 26, 2016.
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    FILE - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addresses lawmakers in Ankara, Jan. 26, 2016.
    FILE - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addresses lawmakers in Ankara, Jan. 26, 2016.

    The PYG is fighting to connect the last link in a continuous Kurdish-controlled region in Syria along the Turkish border.

    With the Syrian Kurdish leadership dismissing Ankara's warning, Turkey's political leaders have not ruled out a military intervention. But retired Turkish general Haldun Solmazturk warned that any intervention would be extremely risky.

    "The major military risk is a conflict with the Russian armed forces; it is inevitable. And besides, the Syrian regime forces would also resist and also various groups from Kurds to ISIL,” Solmazturk said, using an acronym for Islamic State. “I mean there are so many risks involved, currently Syria is a most complicated military environment for an army to intervene."

    Russia, U.N.

    Since Turkish jets downed a Russian warplane in November, Moscow has installed a sophisticated anti-aircraft system to support its fighter jets and bombers operating in Syria. 

    What is more, international relations expert Soli Ozel warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be only too happy to see a Turkish intervention.

    "I think the Russians are waiting eagerly for Turkey to take such a step, in order to get even for their downed plane,” Ozel said. “Putin, I think, wants to exact a punishment from Turkey."

    Turkish news reports quote military leaders as saying that, under Turkish law, any intervention in Syria requires sanctioning by the U.N. Security Council.

    Domestic concerns

    Observers say Turkey might try to circumvent that law by declaring that its target is the Islamic State extremist group. But Ozel said domestic security concerns could ultimately prevent Turkey from sending an unwilling military into Syria.

    "If the government insists that they must do it, it will be done,” Ozel said. “But can a government really push a military that obviously for good reasons is reluctant to do such a thing? Especially if that military is now fighting domestically in Turkey an extraordinary brutal and fierce battle against the PKK, which is also a big priority for the government?"

    Major security operations are continuing across towns and cities in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeast against the PKK. During spring, with winter snows melting, the PKK are expected to emerge from their winter hideouts and escalate their operations across the region.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: AHMED from: INDIA
    February 15, 2016 9:22 PM
    Turkey is the Key Player in destruction of Syria. Now Turkey must feel pain what he gave to poor and helpless Syrians.

    by: Mark from: Virginia
    February 15, 2016 5:16 PM
    So many hands in the fire.... should Assad win back his country what is going to be left of it after the antagonists have taken their troops and their gear and left the country? The same can be said of any Syrian leader (government or rebel) who takes control of Syria and ousts the foreign fighters. The cities lie in ruins, the people are fleeing in greater droves, the economy is a shambles.

    It would be a miracle if Syria ever rises from the ashes and is reborn to any semblance of a nation. We all should be ashamed of ourselves, everyone.
    In Response

    by: dutchnational
    February 16, 2016 4:42 AM
    You are right of course.

    However, as soon as sectarian groups get involved, or sectarian countries, there seems to be no middle ground, no rational reasoning, just blind hatred.

    For the protection of civil secular nations, these groups must be destroyed.

    For the sake our our culture, freedoms, western countries must arm themselves, mentally, legally, judicianaly, morally against subversion of our societies.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    February 15, 2016 3:57 PM
    Erdogan is getting desperate now with Obama's term as president expiring soon, and the Saudis being unreliable as a fighting force he feels isolated now, [because of all his failed military adventurism against the Kurds, terrorists, Iraqis and Syrians will most probably bring his political downfall? .. Erdogan should have remembered that old adage; "What goes around, sometimes comes back around, and kicks you in the butt." .. and Murphy's law .. "Whatever can possibly go wrong, will usually go wrong."

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