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    Turkey’s True Goals in Syria are Much More Than Just Oil and Money

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    Turkey playing dirty in Syria is no secret. The true goal Ankara is pursuing in Syria is becoming a regional power and the country that rules the Sunni Muslim world, journalist Riccardo Peliliccetti wrote for his article in Il Giornale.

    Over the course of his 20 years of ruling Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has Islamized the country and launched a policy of expansionism. It is obvious that Erdogan’s goal is to turn northern Syria – between Aleppo and Latakia – into the 82nd Turkish province, the article read, and now he is playing the card of Turkmen living in the region.

    Erdogan insists on military intervention in Syria which would help him neutralize the so-called "Shiite axis" comprising Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

    "This may be the very beginning of a conflict between Turkey and Iran. Tehran is responsible for [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s strategy. Assad as well as Hezbollah is very important to Iran. This is the Shiite axis. Russia came to Syria to support Assad, and then Turkey shot down a Russian jet. It may lead to a war between Turkey and Iran," political analyst Edward Luttwack was quoted as saying in the article.

    For the last four years, Turkey has been making efforts to topple Assad, including financing terrorists and the guerilla war against Damascus. Turkish airports are filled with foreign troops ready to be deployed to Syria. Turkey has attacked the Kurds who fight against the Islamic State (ISIL) terrorist group instead of fighting its militants, the author wrote. What is more, Turkey buys smuggled oil from ISIL for $15-20 a barrel, and then re-sells it at a double the price.

    Nevertheless, the strong Shiite axis and particularly the Russian offensive in Syria have shattered Erdogan’s dreams of an empire and kept Assad in power.

    After the Russian Su-24 bomber was downed, Erdogan said that Turkey did it to protect itself and its "brothers" in Syria.

    He meant Turkmen, of course, but also terrorist groups sponsored by Ankara, many of which have pledged allegiance to ISIL, the author pointed out.

    At the Vienna conference in late-October Russia asked the Sunni axis – Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar – to make up a list of moderate opposition figures for talks with Assad. As a result, Ankara removed their protégés from the list of terrorists to let them participate in the talks.

    However, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not allow the breakdown of Syria, an ally to Russia, the article read.

    Now, it looks like Turkey is looking for a reason to start a war, using NATO for its own interests, according to the article.

    The author cited words by German General Harald Kujat who warned of such a scenario a year ago.

    "Turkey wants to drag NATO into this war since its goal is to topple Assad. ISIL and the Kurds are not that important. An ally which acts this way should not be respected in the alliance," Kujat said.

    Luttwak confirmed the assumption, saying: "Turkey betrayed NATO when it refused to cooperate and bought oil from ISIL. Ankara made ISIL powerful. While the US is sending weapons to Kurds who fight ISIL Turkey is bombing them. For NATO, having Turkey as an ally is worse than having it as an enemy," he concluded.

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    Tags:
    Middle East, NATO, Daesh, military conflict, terrorism, Syria, Turkey
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