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    All Talk No Action: Why Turkey Won't Send Ground Forces to Syria

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)
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    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Ankara was ready to send ground troops to Syria unilaterally if need be in comments that came in sharp contrast to his earlier stance, retired Brigadier General Haldun Solmaztürk told Sputnik.

    Turkish authorities have called for a ground operation in the war-torn Arab country for months, but previously noted that these efforts should be part of a multilateral campaign.

    "Davutoglu's comments clearly contradict his earlier remarks. This [change] has been primarily caused by the rockets exploding in Kilis. There are victims, including civilians, occasionally causing public outrage," he noted. "This situation has prompted the Turkish government to look for alternatives when it comes to providing domestic security."

    A riot police officer runs away from the site after two rockets hit the Turkish town of Kilis near the Syrian border, Turkey, April 24, 2016
    © REUTERS / Umit Bektas
    A riot police officer runs away from the site after two rockets hit the Turkish town of Kilis near the Syrian border, Turkey, April 24, 2016

    The Turkish border town of Kilis and surrounding areas have been subject to frequent attacks launched by Daesh. Four people, including a police officer, are reported to have been wounded on Thursday. One person was killed and an unspecified number of people were injured in a similar attack on Monday.

    Daesh attacks came days after Turkish forces killed 34 militants in artillery and drone strikes.

    Yet other countries will not be happy if Turkey tries to invoke its right to self-defense by sending its forces to chase Daesh in northern Syria, the analyst observed.

    "Should Turkey send ground forces to Syria, the international community will react immediately. This is why I think that Davutoglu was not referring to a specific decision that has already been made by the government. I believe that he tried to highlight Turkey's readiness to guarantee its national security, which could entail among other things deploying troops unilaterally," he explained.

    The Turkish prime minster might have tested the waters with his latest comments, but Haldun Solmaztürk doubts that they will lead to any specific actions. 

    "I think that no matter what Turkey will not send its armed forces unilaterally. Turkey's unilateral involvement in Syria without international backing is out of the question," he asserted.  

    In any respect, Davutoglu will be unable to shape Turkey's policy on Syria since he is stepping down as the leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK) party after losing a power struggle with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, rumors say.

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

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    Tags:
    ground forces, ground military operation, military operation, security, Daesh, Haldun Solmaztürk, Ahmet Davutoglu, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kilis, Turkey, Syria
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