Jan 24 2018

Turkey’s struggle in Syria’s Afrin could last “decades” - newspaper

Turkey could be dragged into Syria for the long term if things go badly, British liberal news website The Independent said.

“The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, tweeted in response to the news (of the second Turkish soldier killed in Afrin): ‘We will not leave the blood of our martyrs on the ground and will continue our struggle until we root out terror’,” it wrote.

“If the recent history of Syria and Iraq is any guide, that ‘struggle’ will continue over many decades.”

When the Islamic State (ISIS) had control of territory on Turkey’s southern border, the country was much more cautious and fearful, the news site said.

“Now, it seems, Ankara is so confident of its own strength, and that of its de facto Russian and Iranian allies, that it is emboldened to invade Syria instead.”

However, should the operation be a success, the newspaper said that Turkey might be able to permanently end Kurdish nationalist hopes.

“Now President (Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan could see his chance to flatten the Kurdish national cause for good, under the cover of the Syrian civil war and the war on ISIS,” it said.