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Turkey strikes Syria as part of US-led 'anti-ISIL' coalition

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A missile-loaded Turkish Air Force warplane takes off from the Incirlik Air Base in the outskirts of the city of Adana, southeastern Turkey, on July 28, 2015. (AFP)

Ankara says it has launched its first airstrikes in Syria as part of the US-led coalition allegedly targeting the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

Turkish fighter jets attacked Daesh positions across the border in Syria late Friday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced in a statement, adding that the Takfiri terrorists pose a threat to Turkey’s security.

Earlier in the week, the US Department of Defense announced that Ankara would join the so-called anti-Daesh coalition and would start bombing the terrorist group in Syria and Iraq “very soon.”

"It could take a few days to put these technical arrangements into place at the operational level,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook in reference to the arranged military cooperation between Ankara and Washington, adding, “We believe that Turkey is committed to fully participating [in anti-Daesh coalition] as soon as possible.”

This is while Ankara has also been launching airstrikes against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey and Iraq after a Daesh bomb attack left 32 people dead in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc on July 20.

The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s. The conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead.

Since late September 2014, the US and some of its Arab allies have been conducting airstrikes against Daesh militants inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. The airstrikes have hit Syrian infrastructure and caused scattered civilian deaths.

Daesh Takfiri terrorists in Syria


This is while the US and some of its regional allies, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have lent staunch support to Takfiri terrorists group fighting against Syria’s legitimate government.

Syria has been facing a foreign-backed militancy – including by Daesh terrorists – since 2011.

The Daesh militants, who currently control areas across Syria as well as northern and western Iraq, have been carrying out horrific acts of violence, including public decapitations, against Iraqi and Syrian communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.

A ploy for military intervention

Speaking to Press TV, James Petras, an author and a political commentator, called into question the sincerity of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in fighting Daesh, saying Ankara’s recent offensive against Takfiris is just “a cover for its recent attacks on the Kurds.”

“Turkey’s main emphasis, main orientation is to destroy the possibilities that the Kurds could have a greater degree of independence and territorial influence,” Petras said.

“Turkey has been the main conduit for terrorist groups entering Syria and has been involved in training, arming and financing these terrorist groups,” he went on to say, noting that Ankara’s anti-Daesh airstrikes are nothing but “a tactical move by Erdogan to increase its military intervention against Syria and against the Kurds.”

The New York-based analyst further stressed that Erdogan’s decision to take part in anti-ISIL coalition is part of his campaign for the forthcoming elections, saying that he is trying “to build up a kind of nationalist image of his government and to curtail the freedoms of the opposing parties” by declaring a state of military emergency in the country.

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