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‘Turkey after killing Kurds, grabbing land in Syria’

The Turkish army dispatches military hardware to the southern province of Kilis on August 4, 2017 to be positioned across from the Kurdish-controlled Syrian region of Afrin. (Photo by Anadolu news agency)

As Syrian armed forces are advancing on several fronts to retake territories from Takfiri groups, Turkey is reinforcing its military presence in border areas with the excuse that it is warding off threats from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, known as YPG forces. The Turkish move comes at a time when the US-backed Kurdish fighters are in an apparent attempt to drive Daesh terrorists out of their bastion Raqqah. Press TV has asked Tony Gosling, an investigative journalist from Bristol, and Nabil Mikhail, a professor at George Washington University, to give their thoughts on Turkey’s intentions in Syria.

Tony Gosling is of the idea that Turkey is trying to force the Kurdish opposition into Syria, so that it can use the opportunity to enter the neighboring country under the pretext of fighting the Kurds and  ultimately find a way of pursuing its land grab policy.

He explained that “the Turks are not honest” in the fight against terrorist groups who are wreaking havoc in Syria, because “by attacking the (YPG) Kurds in northern Syria, what they are doing of course is aiding ISIS (Daesh).”

He advised Turkish forces against wrongly assuming that “they can use [the conflict] as an opportunity to kill Kurds and also to grab land in northern Syria.”

Since the beginning of armed militancy in Syria in March 2011, Turkish authorities played a key role in allowing foreign-backed militants to freely infiltrate the war-stricken country. Some reports suggested that Turkey dispatched logistics to the Takfiri groups to help them topple the government in Damascus in line with the American agenda.

He also referred to the conflict of interests between Turkey and the US over the Turkish occupation of Syria.

Although the United States is still sticking to the regime change policy in Syria, the Turkish land grab attempt is “not in tune” with the United States’ agenda in the Arab country.

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, walk along a damaged street in eastern Raqqah on July 14, 2017, during an offensive to retake the city from Daesh. (Photo by AFP)

Gosling further criticized the international community for doing nothing to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria in the face of threats from international and regional players.

“With the United Nations, which is playing a kind of backseat role and not seeming to really have the effectiveness that they should have,” some states like Turkey are now looking at the situation in Syria as a potential land grab opportunity, he complained.

Meanwhile, Nabil Mikhail, the other contributor to the program, said Turkey hunts the Kurdish fighters inside the borders of Syria because of their nationalistic agenda.

The academic ruled out speculations that Ankara is trying to grab Syrian territories, arguing that the US and Russia both have military presence in the Arab country which makes it difficult for the Turkish government to attempt occupying Syrian lands.

He noted that Ankara has the right to protect itself from Kurdish attacks but it “should not violate the sovereignty of Syria” by crossing its border.

Mikhail said Russia and the US need to advise Turkey against crossing the Syrian borderline.

Moscow and Washington are not at ease with Turkey’s military operation in Syria because they see Kurdish fighters as a ground force, fighting Daesh terrorists.

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