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    Tanks stationed at a Turkish army position near the Oncupinar crossing gate close to the town of Kilis, south central Turkey, fire towards the Syria border, on February 16, 2016.

    Stratfor: Turkey More Preoccupied by Kurds Than Syrian Government

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    Ankara is more focused on the Kurdish issue rather than on the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to "shadow CIA" Stratfor.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Turkish authorities are more concerned about the potential creation of an independent Kurdish state than the ruling Syrian government, the US-based intelligence assessment company Stratfor said in a report on Tuesday.

    "Turkey's decision to engage with Damascus does not fundamentally alter its goal in Syria…But it does show that Ankara is more preoccupied by the Syrian Kurds than by the Syrian government," the report stated.

    Stratfor added that Algeria has become the mediator of a back-channel dialogue between Syria and Turkey.

    "According to Stratfor's source, Turkey is asking the Syrian government to cooperate in containing the YPG [Kurdish People’s Protection Units] and PYD [Kurdish Democratic Union Party]," the report said.

    The report continued that in return, Syria’s government has asked Turkey to stop interfering in the Syrian conflict.

    Ankara, however, still looks to replace the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad with a moderate Sunni-led administration. As a result, the negotiations between the two countries remain inconclusive.

    Stratfor argued, however, that governments of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria are not interested in Kurdish independence, which could undermine the countries’ territorial integrity.

    "With some common ground laid among Turkey, Syria and Iran in containing Kurdish autonomy, there is potential for a more substantive dialogue over a new power-sharing agreement for Syria," the report concluded.

    Kurds are Syria’s largest ethnic minority. The Kurdish population also lives in Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. Syrian Kurds say they want to be part of Syria and do not strive for independence, yet have previously called for more autonomy. In March, they declared a federal region in northern Syria. The Syrian government responded by saying that the Kurds’ unilateral decision had no legal power.


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    Kurds, Stratfor, Syria, Turkey
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