Iran: ISIS is not Turkey’s target in Syria

Iran: ISIS is not Turkey's target in Syria
On Thursday, Turkish military vehicles passed through the border town of Karkamis and headed to Jarablus

Iran’s official Press TV has conducted an interview with Gordon Duff, senior editor of Veterans Today, to discuss Turkey’s recent military operation in Syria.

Press TV: Turkey moved its forces into Iraq without Baghdad’s permission or approval and now it is running a military operation in Syria without going through Damascus – a controversial foreign policy, your thoughts.

Duff: Well, the Turks obviously know they have done something wrong. They began floating the story that they had US air support; we are not so sure about that. This would have been quite a move for the US to abandon any process it has been involved in and this is obviously as Syria has explained: This is a clear violation of sovereignty. But the Turks also claim they had informed Moscow and they had full cooperation from the Russian Foreign Ministry. We now know that that was a lie as well.

They began the story that they were only attacking ISIS and that they had no concerns for going after the Kurds. Then it became very clear the incursion is simply as the government in Damascus has stated: They are just replacing ISIS with another force that they believe is going to be more capable of fighting the Kurds than ISIS was but doing exactly the same thing.

Press TV: There are reports that Washington is helping Ankara with at the very least logistics and whatnot. Now with this unauthorized operation against supposedly Daesh or the Kurds, now when Washington is simultaneously helping Kurds fight Daesh on other fronts, how does this complicate things in this whole landscape, this quagmire there in Syria?

Duff: I do not think anybody is telling the truth at all here. This began as a series of lies. It is backing up as a series of lies and the Turks I believe are trying to pull their first bastion. They believe they convinced the Russians that they were going to be a new player on the bloc. They have bullied the Americans through these accusations about US complicity in the coup which is true or not, but now they are back to what they were doing in the first place.

If we took the clock back to 2013 -2014 they are running air attacks illegally in Syria, attacking the Kurds. Now they have moved in ground forces to attack the Kurds; it is what they were doing all along. The idea that they had any intention to fight ISIS or join the war on terror is nothing more than a ploy. This is another game by Erdogan; this will not last 48 hours.

Press TV: So ultimately what do you think Ankara’s objective is with jumping the border and getting on Syrian soil?

Duff: They clearly saw that the United States was going to go in and set up a Kurdish nation state. The point being is that Ankara had felt initially that they were going to rule that state and they were going to rule the breakaway state under Barzani in Iraq. They thought they had him under their thumb entirely and that is turning out to not be the case. They thought they were going to rule this state as well by wiping out the YPG, only that has not worked out for them either. US aid – far too much of it – has gone against Turkey’s enemies. So, Turkey is stepping on their own in desperation.

The interview reflects the author’s point of view and doesn’t necessarily represent MEO’s policy.