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Turkey 'Unlikely to Increase Its Military Presence' in Syria After Jarablus Op

© REUTERS / Ihlas News AgencyA Turkish army tank and an armoured vehicle are stationed near the Turkish-Syrian border in Karkamis in the southeastern Gaziantep province, Turkey, August 23, 2016.
A Turkish army tank and an armoured vehicle are stationed near the Turkish-Syrian border in Karkamis in the southeastern Gaziantep province, Turkey, August 23, 2016. - Sputnik International
The Turkish Armed Forces have launched Operation Euphrates Shield ostensibly aimed at liberating the Syrian border town of Jarablus from Daesh and helping to preserve the Arab country's territorial integrity, but Ankara is unlikely to build up its presence in the neighboring country, political analyst Boris Dolgov told RIA Novosti.

Dolgov maintained that Turkey is unlikely to send more troops to Syria regardless of how successful its current operation is.

"This is after all a local operation," he said, adding that Turkey's achievements in this case could also only be local. "I don't think that Turkey will further expand its military presence" in the country.

Turkish soldiers on a tank sit opposite the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, at the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Turkish village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province (File) - Sputnik International
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Turkey launched a major offensive against Daesh in Jarablus that started with intensive shelling and airstrikes. Turkish special forces and tanks then crossed into the Jarablus area, destroying 70 militant targets. Approximately 5,000 Free Syrian Army fighters are said to be taking part in the operation that is also expected to be backed by the US warplanes. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Operation Euphrates Shield was aimed at tackling both Daesh and the Kurds.

Dolgov described the Turkish military as "rather powerful," adding that it "is considered to be the second best in NATO in terms of fighting efficiency."

The analyst did not say whether the offensive will be successful, but added that it had more to do with the Kurds than Daesh. "Turkey's operation is meant to prevent Kurdish forces from capitalizing on their success," he said.

Kurdish militias and other fighters that make up the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) recently pushed Daesh out of the Syrian city of Manbij. The SDF announced that it plans to liberate the town of al-Bab next. Meanwhile, Peshmerga has been instrumental in fighting Daesh in Iraq.

Jarablus - Sputnik International
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Vladimir Sotnikov, a researcher at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, also said that Turkey's operation in Syria was linked to Kurdish activities. He was optimistic as to the outcome of the offensive because the Turkish military is "well-mobilized."

"The chance of success would be higher if Erdogan, perhaps with Washington's help, managed to reach an agreement with the Kurds," he added.

Nizar Sakif, who heads the Syrian Bar Association, said that Operation Euphrates Shield should be treated as an act of aggression.

"An intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state is a violation of Chapter VII of the UN Charter. This is what happened. Turkey has violated Syria's sovereignty to fight against terrorism without Damascus' authorization. This issue should be brought up at an urgent session of the UN Security Council to take legal action against Turkey and to prevent an intervention in a sovereign state," he told Sputnik.

If Turkey was truly intent on tackling terrorism, Ankara would have reached out to Syrian leadership, he added.

"Since there was no coordination, there are grounds to assume that Turkey is not fighting against Daesh, but is instead helping other armed terrorist organizations to cross into northern Syria," he said.

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