mardi 30 septembre 2014

Analysis: Why Turkey matters in anti-ISIL war

Analyse : Pourquoi la Turquie importe dans la guerre anti-EI

Turkey wants to persuade the anti-ISIL coalition that military solution alone will not be enough.

Turkey has been under the spotlight since US President Barack Obama's announcement to form an international alliance to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Political geography and US foreign policy imperatives mean that any Turkish role will be invaluable to the success of any such effort to combat ISIL.

Ultimately, it is not a question of if there will be a role for Turkey, but more about the limits of possible Turkish involvement, the type of involvement anticipated and the obstacles which face the future mission.

Turkey has its own motives for joining this newly formed coalition that go beyond the way in which the US' announcement was a fait-accompli. As Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently made clear: Turkey "cannot stay outside of that coalition" because "we share 1,200km-long borders, we are being targeted and we have a million and half refugees on our land".

In addition, Ankara believes ISIL has weakened the Syrian opposition, of which it had previously been the primary regional sponsor. Finally, the Turkish opposition's tacit, in-principle support for the coalition against ISIL has defused any potential domestic political tensions.

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