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Does Turkey’s military operation in Syria show Erdogan’s quest to make Turkey a superpower?

Does Turkey’s military operation in Syria show Erdogan’s quest to make Turkey a superpower?

Last week, Turkish troops moved into Kurdish-occupied northern Syria in a move that sparked widespread international backlash while gathering widespread support in Turkey. The incursion aims to consolidate Ankara’s position at the Astana negotiation table. Turkey claims its move will help resettle millions of Syrian refugees in the newly captured towns and cities of northern Syria. Turkey’s goals in the attacks on Syrian border towns are twofold: First, to push back Kurdish-led militias that were backed by the US in the fight against ISIS and abandoned earlier this week. To Turkey, the militias are the Syrian affiliate of the PKK, a Kurdish separatist group that has carried out a series of attacks in Turkey that have killed at least 4,686 people since 2015, according to an analysis by the International Crisis Group. Then, within an 18-mile wide “safe zone” that Turkey hopes to secure, Turkish President Erdoğan says he will settle over a million refugees in a series of planned communities along the border. However, such a safe zone would be under Turkish military control it appears, which would make them a threat to the neighbouring territories controlled by Bashar Al Asaad and his backers in Russia and Iran. It is too early to call Turkey’s move a direct invasion of Syria, as the aim remains a safe zone to protect its border from the Kurdish terrorist threat, and to house refugees, but Turkey’s intentions will soon be clearer, as their objectives could go further if the operation is successful.

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