Terrorists Target Turkey as Ankara Joins Moscow in Syria Talks Without US

© REUTERS / Huseyin AldemirTurkish police stand guard outisde the Reina nightclub by the Bosphorus, which was attacked by a gunman, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 2017
Turkish police stand guard outisde the Reina nightclub by the Bosphorus, which was attacked by a gunman, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 2017 - Sputnik International
As 2017 begins, the situation in Turkey is very different than one year earlier, as Ankara’s rapprochement with Moscow has inched the Turkish stance on the war in Syria closer to the Russian position, according to report of the private intelligence firm Soufan.

Turkish special force police officers and ambulances are seen at the site of an armed attack January 1, 2017 in Istanbul. - Sputnik International
Daesh Claims Responsibility for New Year Nightclub Attack in Turkey
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The New Year’s attack on a Turkish nightclub that killed at least 39 revelers likely marks the onset of increased strikes by the Islamic State, also known as Daesh terror group amid joint Turkey-Russia peace efforts, the private intelligence firm Soufan predicted in a report on Tuesday.

"As 2017 begins, the situation in Turkey is very different than one year earlier, as Ankara’s rapprochement with Moscow has inched the Turkish stance on the war in Syria closer to the Russian position," the report stated. "This shift has not only begun to alter regional dynamics, but also changed the nature of the threat posed by the Islamic State in Turkey."

After years in which Turkey and Russia have been on opposite sides of the conflict, Moscow and Ankara last month arranged a cease fire as a prelude to talks on ending the six-year war. The United States was excluded from the initiative.

A Turkish soldier on an armoured personnel carrier waves as they drive from the border back to their base in Karkamis on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Gaziantep province, Turkey, August 27, 2016 - Sputnik International
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With Turkey having switched sides, the Soufan report predicted that ethnic Turks from former Soviet republics in Central Asia would take advantage of visa-free travel to Turkey to launch a wave of attacks similar to the massacre of 39 New Year’s celebrants at a Turkish nightclub.

In the past, Turkey has backed several rebel groups seeking the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad, an ally of Moscow.

At one point, Turkey faced accusations that Ankara was supporting the Islamic State by buying oil from the terror group and allowing the transit of foreign fighters bound for Syria.

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