In the wake of an ISIS suicide attack in Suruc last week, Turkey has now begun a campaign of bomb attacks against ISIS, but also against the Kurds. They are also suggesting they plan to invade northern Syria on the pretext of creating a safe area. This is a dangerous move, which could easily escalate the current crisis.
Not least because there already exists a safe area along the North Syrian border, which, thanks to recent advances by the Pesmerga, is now largely now controlled by the Kurdish forces. Inevitably one has to conclude Turkey’s goal is to attack ISIS while making sure the Kurds get hit in the crossfire. Indeed there are numerous rumours that Turkish security forces have been in touch with ISIS.
This raises the risk of widening the conflict. With the Kurdish forces, in Syria, Iraq and the Kurdish areas of Turkey fighting the Turkish army. I doubt ISIS and the Kurd’s would ever ally against the Turks. But they could easily form some sort of unofficial truce, effectively scuppering all the West’s efforts as well as inevitably cementing ISIS hold over the land it currently controls. As up until now, the Kurds have been the main force driving back ISIS.
The reality is that Turkish president Erdogan is exploiting the situation to further his own political position. This is a guy who makes Frank Underwood look like a rank amateur. He’s been accused of becoming increasingly dictatorial and corrupt (he’s had to deny owning a golden toilet!). Clearly his plan is to start a war and bomb someone to help with his ratings. However the long term consequences of this are quite severe.