The Syrian civil war has turned out to be an indicator of the present balance of power in the international arena. Initially appearing as a continuation of the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war mainly relied on popular demands for democracy, prosperity and freedom. Yet the international powers involved in the Syrian crisis have pursued their own political agendas. While Western powers predicted that the fall of the Iranian regime would succeed the prospective fall of the Baath Party's regime in Syria, Iran has craftily involved itself in the Syrian civil war by struggling against the political aspirations of Western powers.
Inexperienced in dealing with social movements, the Syrian regime intensified state violence on the opposition and called forth the emergence of all-out civil war. Backed by Iranian paramilitary forces, the Syrian state's violence forced the opposition to take up arms. The clustering of Salafist groups in Syria, who constitute one of the principle agents of the 30-year armed conflict in the region, also intensified opposition violence. Anxious about the future of the Syrian people, Turkey, as a neighboring country of Syria, has taken on heavy responsibilities, including taking in 3 million Syrian refugees fleeing ongoing civil war in their homeland.
While the United States seemed to be irresolute in leading their allies in the Syrian crisis, Iran, at one of the most critical points in the civil war, invited Russia onto the battlefield. While the U.S. was busy with its presidential election, Russia took control of the region between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Hazar. In terms of the balance of power, after Soviet Perestroika and Glasnost, Russia regained the upper hand against the U.S.
Abusing former U.S. President Barak Obama's political incapacity, Iran succeeded in influencing the state mentality of the U.S. The idea emphasizing the possibility of al-Qaida's emergence after the fall of the Syrian regime was imposed on the Western public. Although Daesh was founded and manipulated by the intelligence services of the U.S., United Kingdom and Israel, Iran appeared to be fighting against Daesh with its Shiite paramilitary forces. The other political actor that abused the pretense of fighting against Daesh was the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian branch of the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara. The secular and Stalinist structure of the PYD immediately aroused the interest of the U.S. and Russia. While the PYD's People's Protection Units (YPG) fighting against Daesh was presented as heroism in Western media, Turkey's direct triumph against Daesh with its Operation Euphrates Shied had less media coverage. Western media actually whispered rumors of Turkey actually supporting Daesh.
Presently, the U.S. is not cooperating with Turkey, Saudi Arabia or Jordon, but with the YPG, which has taken over land formerly dominated by Daesh. Instead of criticizing the political incapacity of the Obama administration against the military alliance between Iran, Russia and the Syrian regime, the U.S. aims at strengthening the archenemy of Turkey, one the most important U.S. allies in the region.
As each state naturally prioritizes its own security, Turkey is going to struggle against any terrorist organization that poses a threat to its security and national interests. While Turkey is one of the most experienced states in the struggle against terrorism, the country has always been capable of defending its own land against external threats.
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