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    The Art of Cunning: Turkey 'Will Use Others' to Wage 'Proxy War' in Syria

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    Despite Turkey's apparent determination to crack down on the Kurds in Syria, particularly following last week's deadly bombing, Ankara will likely refrain from launching a direct military intervention into the war-torn Arab country and will instead act through proxies, foreign affairs journalist Sami Kohen wrote for Turkey's Milliyet newspaper.

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to the expert, is fully aware of the fact that not a single Ankara's ally, including Washington, will back the AKP's initiative. Moscow's counterterrorism operation in Syria is also limiting Turkey's capabilities.

    "It appears that Turkey will try to avoid launching a direct ground operation in Syria. Like other players, Ankara will consider other options of waging a war through proxies," he wrote.

    Ankara has been indirectly involved in the deadly Syrian conflict for years. Like other regional and outside stakeholders, it has provided assistance to radical groups, which are trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad and establish an Islamic caliphate in Syria.

    In recent months, Turkey has been apparently considering sending ground forces to Syria to ostensibly fight Daesh. Many doubt that if deployed Ankara's forces would actually target the militants, but would instead likely be focused on the Kurds.

    Ankara sees the Kurds in Turkey and elsewhere as the key threat to its stability and security. It has carried out a military operation against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and any other group the AKP believes are affiliated with it since mid-2015 after a two-year-long ceasefire between Turkish authorities and the PKK collapsed. The operation has been largely condemned as a humanitarian catastrophe.

    Cars of emergency services arrive after an explosion in Ankara, Turkey.
    © REUTERS/ Stringer
    Cars of emergency services arrive after an explosion in Ankara, Turkey.

    Last week, the Turkey-based Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) took responsibility for a car bomb attack that claimed 28 lives in Ankara on Wednesday. Nevertheless, Erdogan and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu have tried to pin the blame on the US-backed Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People's Protection Units (YPG) militia.

    Both the PYD and the YPG have denied that they were involved in the bombing.

    Moreover, the Turkish army has been shelling the YPG in Syria since February 13 after they drove Islamic militia from an air base and village close to the Turkish border, justifying it as a retaliatory measure. The YPG is largely considered to be one of the most efficient forces capable of tackling Daesh and other extremists groups in Syria.

    In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, southeastern Turkey, a Turkish soldier on an armoured personnel carrier watches as in the background a flag of the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, is raised over the city of Tal Abyad, Syria, Tuesday, June 16, 2015
    © AP Photo/ Lefteris Pitarakis
    In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, southeastern Turkey, a Turkish soldier on an armoured personnel carrier watches as in the background a flag of the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, is raised over the city of Tal Abyad, Syria, Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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    Tags:
    proxy war, Syrian conflict, Daesh, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Syria
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