08:25 GMT27 January 2021
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    Syria has accused Turkey of assisting Daesh (Islamic State). The country’s envoy to the UN, said Turkish forces provided covering fire for Daesh militants, who were entering Syria.

    The accusation of Damascus followed similar statements from Russia and Iraq. Baghdad and Moscow have recently provided evidence that Turkish leadership has not only turned a blind eye to Daesh’s presence at its border with Syria, but even done business with Daesh – bought and smuggled its oil.

    Stuart Rollo, political analyst and journalist focusing on international security, told Radio Sputnik why Ankara is pursuing its interest in the Middle East.

    “I think Turkey thought they could shape the Syrian conflict in their favour. They thought the Syrian government would fall within a month like it did in Egypt and Tunisia but it didn’t turn out that way. Turkey found itself supporting the groups that were getting more and more radical.”

    Talking about what hidden agenda Turkey may have in the region, Stuart Rollo said, “I don’t think they have a hidden agenda. I think they have the same agenda as other countries like Russia, the United States and Iran: they want the outcome of this conflict to work in their favour.”

    “They want to gain regional influence at the expense of other countries. The problem with Turkey pursuing such goals involves preventing the Kurds from having any sort of autonomy because they feel that this would destabilize their own Kurdish regions,” Stuart said.

    He went on to explain that without their Kurds as allies, Turkey is left with no one to fight the government of Assad except radical Islamists and that is not going to have a positive outcome.

    Looking at the recent relations between NATO and Turkey, Stuart said, “I think NATO didn’t want this to happen. We can see statements coming out calling for Turkey to calm the situation and ease tensions. No one in NATO wants to be actually demonstrated as attacking Russia so I think they are going to continue telling Turkey to ease the tensions.”

    He noted that NATO uses Turkish air fields to carry out attacks on Daesh so currently NATO is increasing its presence in Turkey.

    Talking about the future of Syrian conflict, Stuart said, “We have seen what happened in Libya when there was a power vacuum and when a dictator falls and if there’s no accord, things can turn much worse, but I hope that won’t happen in Syria because the people there have already suffered so much in the past four years.”


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    NATO, international affairs, allies, agenda, Kurds, Daesh, Bashar al-Assad, Turkey, Syria
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