In the early hours of Wednesday, the Turkish military, including tanks, crossed over the border with Syria to facilitate the clearing of DAESH's presence from the town of Jarablus. The international coalition against DAESH, which supported the moderate opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) solely with airstrikes, now, thanks to Turkey, introduced boots on the ground. Shortly after Turkish moves, the FSA was able to capture several villages including Kaklijah from DAESH terrorists.
Turkey has become the biggest victim of the chaos in Syria. There have been 10 deadly attacks in Turkey perpetrated by DAESH in just the past two years, causing the deaths of hundreds of civilians. While sparing no effort to cut the group's supply lines, recruitment and funding while turning back or deporting many thousands of European fighters seeking to join the terrorists in Syria and Iraq, the matter continues to be a diplomatic headache for Turkey. Unfortunately, it was the Syrian crisis and the West's failure to address its consequences that caused the creation of this monstrosity.
Another costly consequence of the Syrian crisis is the escalation of PKK violence, just when Turkey was implementing a reconciliation process to resolve a three-decade long problem. The PKK's terrorism, fed by the chaos in Syria and the military and human resources of its affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), resumed its attacks. U.S. support for the military operation against DAESH, together with the American promise to ensure that the PYD will cross back to the east of Euphrates, should be commended. Yesterday's military measures, taken by Turkey after much contemplation and consultation, can be described as nothing but an act of self-defense.
Turkey, since the very beginning, has been calling on the international community, especially its Western allies, to support the moderate Syrian opposition groups such as the FSA. The strengthening of the moderate groups will in turn help in shaping a moderate future for the country. The operation has clear objectives: Eliminating DAESH's presence along the border with Syria while ensuring that the PYD militants return back to the east of the Euphrates River.
Turkey has no long-term plans concerning northern Syria apart from safeguarding its security, which is why it is supporting the FSA. The operation aims to weaken DAESH while supporting the FSA, which Turkey considers as the only force capable of ridding the region of terrorists. The Turkish operation was launched to bolster the country's borders and national security.
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