Mustafa AY – TDO - 09.10.2017 Turkish government’s been increasing its military build-up in Hatay like armored personnel carriers, main battle tanks (Leopard 2a) and mobilizable howitzers (Fırtına 155). Since the last meeting of Turkish President R.T. Erdoğan’s with Russian PM Vladimir Putin, there were many issues mutually agreed upon in the issues from commerce to military partnership in Syria. Turkish President presented its genuine concerns while the serious happenings were taking place across Turkish border. President Erdoğan, with certain words, expressed that Turkey does not want any imminent threats to both interest and security of motherland.
Sunday, Ankara stimulated armed forces to take position in the border city Hatay with the aim of endorsing FSA’s operation against Al-Nusra (sub-group of DEAS in effect) in Idlib. As previously Ankara kept collaborating with FSA by providing military supply, today, Turkish howitzers on ready-conditioned targeted Al-Nusra’ positions in Idlib so that FSA fighters could breach Al-Nusra’s positions. Russia’s place in this operation is to conduct air-strikes against Al-Nusra. The aim of this newly-launched operation is to finalize soon enough and to minimize the FSA’s casualties.
Other than abovementioned concerns, Ankara worries about possible YPG’s operation to Idlib, while YPG is trying to surge their presence in the West of Euphrates River. That’s why, they make it quick for guaranteeing there shall not be any YPG terrorist fighters in the lands throughout Turkish border to the river. ‘No Kurds’ beyond Euphrates River means that Turkey has an ultimate will to purge PKK-related YPG’s presence in Afrin with this operation. Therefore, Ankara has to first take Idlib, and then surround Afrin to achieve what’s wanted.