03:10 GMT +311 December 2016
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    Turkish army tanks take position near the Syrian border in Suruc after three mortars hit the Turkish side. File photo.

    Looming Threat: Turkish Opposition Warns of a Possible Invasion of Syria

    © AFP 2016/ BULENT KILIC
    Middle East
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    Turkish MP and member of the country’s main opposition party warned that the probability of Turkey’s military invading Syria is increasing.

    Erdogan Toprak, member of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) who has served as the MP for Istanbul's third electoral district since 2011, pointed out that the recent visit of the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Saudi Arabia has strangely coincided with the start of the Syrian peace talks in Geneva, as well as with the worsening of Ankara's relations with Moscow following the alleged violation of Turkish airspace by a Russian Su-34 warplane.

    In a weekly report by the parliamentary team he leads, Toprak also noted that President Erdogan’s visit to Riyadh in December 2015 was immediately followed by an announcement heralding the creation of the Islamic military coalition, and that Turkey immediately offered to join it.

    "The presence Hulusi Akar, Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, among the people accompanying Davutoglu to Riyadh, as well as a group photograph featuring Akar posing together with a top Saudi official while wearing army fatigues and boots, sends a clear message: the Turkish Armed Forces are ready to take the lead role in a possible ground military action in Syria," Toprak surmised.

    He also added that the Syrian Kurds’ decision not to abide by the agreements reached during the Syrian peace talks, due to them being excluded from the negotiation process, "drastically increases the possibility of Turkish military invading Syria and clashing with Kurdish forces. It also increases the probability of an open conflict between Turkey and Russia, and possibly the US, as the latter two countries support the Kurds."

    Toprak also said out that a recent meeting of a team of Western military and diplomatic officials led by the US envoy Brett McGurk, also served as a show of support and a message both for the Kurds and Ankara. The US is likely warning Turkey that if the latter attempts to invade Syria to prevent the Kurds from uniting, it will end up facing more than just the Kurdish forces.

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    Tags:
    warning, threat, invasion, Turkish Armed Forces, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ahmet Davutoglu, Erdogan Toprak, Syria, Turkey
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    • Jet fuel can't melt steel beams
      Technically an invasion therefore.. they will have to handle the consequences (i don't think nato will defend turkey about a blatant aggression i guess even nato would want to get rid of erdo if not well....it's gonna fun..).
    • Randall Lee Hilburn
      Turkey is not going to make a move without US approval. This is all part of the US invasion using primarily forces from their vassal states at least at this point. If they invade Syria it will primarily be to help overthrow Assad. They may very well go after the Kurds too in some manner. That should make things rather difficult for the invaders. As Turkey is allied to the US and Israel against Syria, but the US and Israel are also allied to the Kurds who Turkey is opposed to.

      This gives a big advantage to Syria and her allies who have a unified command, as opposed to the squabbling bunch of gangsters who have invaded the country.
    • professor.hornblow
      Turkey had better not send in the janissaries because they revolted and turned on the old sultan back in the day. The modern Turkish army has no record military action outside of its suppresssion of the Kurd. So Erdogan would need a reminder of what modern warfare is all about. A message could be sent from the Caspian Sea.
    • Andrew poulos
      Russia is well prepared for a full world war... West is not.. So playing this kind of dangerous games thinking Russia will back off is a poor evaluation.. Western think tanks have a lack of mindedness which could lead to a full bloodshed. I pitty their citizens for not taking any actions against their corrupted warmongering governments... They have decided to fall hard instead of just letting go from their need of power...
    • vendorin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn(Show commentHide comment)
      Randall Lee Hilburn, overthrowing of Assad is not a plan. They cannot do it because of the Russians. Put it this way, Russia has not spent 4 months of financing the war to walk away with nothing. Therefore, Assad is not a primary target. Assad will remain where he is now as long as the Russians do not back off, and I think they won't but at the same time they won't go into a war with the USA, Turkey and KSA because of Raqqa and the eastern parts of Syria.
    • vendorin reply toAndrew poulos(Show commentHide comment)
      Andrew poulos, what are your sources? Stop talking rubbish. Russia won't commit ground troops and you are talking about how the Russians are prepared for a full world war. Russia does not want a world war, it is obvious. Come off these foolish statements.
    • Randall Lee Hilburnin reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
      vendor, You may be right I have to admit, but it won't bring peace, the war will continue. Probably in a never ending bloody stalemate. Nobody will accept defeat but nobody can win it either.
    • vendorin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn(Show commentHide comment)
      Randall Lee Hilburn, yes.It is not about peace.It is about the control of the area. If need be after partitioning is done they will build a wall and will create a permanent stand off like between Israel and Palestine.
    • Randall Lee Hilburnin reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
      vendor, There is a bit of a wildcard here. In the current American Presidential Election the rhetoric is all for all out war in the Middle East including against Russia. There are no exceptions amongst the candidates. Of course this could all be just campaign rhetoric designed to garner votes and won't result in an actual full blown war. But we won't know for sure until after the new President takes office.
    • vendorin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn(Show commentHide comment)
      Randall Lee Hilburn, you are right. I somehow think it will be bloody Clinton to take up on that position otherwise she would have been already charged.
    • Randall Lee Hilburnin reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
      vendor, Most of them are politicians running their mouths like politicians normally do. But Clinton is different: I think she actually enjoys killing people. She would be the worst case scenario in my opinion.
    • vendorin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn(Show commentHide comment)
      Randall Lee Hilburn, I know isn't she? That is what scares me too.
    • wendigo
      This story blends nicely with the Saudis offering to commit ground troops to Syria if the us coalition asks. This looks like them and the Turks getting ready to grab their wedge state between Syria and Iran, apparently the Syrian portion of it to be first.

      The other part about the us getting that tough with Turkey is doubtful. At most a 'you're on your own if you blow up too many Kurds or whatever.'
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