Turkey to establish a buffer zone in Syria to prevent possible YPG and ISIS threats

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
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Reuters Photo

President Erdoğan and Prime Minister Davutoğlu have stepped up for a military operation into Syrian territory. Reports claim that the Turkish General Staff is on the verge of a possible military intervention with some 18,000 soldiers ready to be deployed into Syria

Discussing the humanitarian plight in the northern Syria in detail, Turkish top officials have begun preparations for a possible two-alternative military intervention into Syria, Turkish daily Yeni Şafak reported on Sunday.

The self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) militants' withdrawal from Tal Abyad and their cooperation with Assad regime forces prompted Turkish officials to take action.

After several meetings, the Turkish General Staff, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and the Prime Ministry decided to establish a buffer zone in Syrian territory. The military and MİT will have completed the scheme of the maneuver by Friday, July 3.

US-led coalition powers have been informed about the possible risks that can be caused by a potential military intervention in such a sensitive region. President Erdoğan and Prime Minister Davutoğlu will decide whether or not to launch the operation.

According to the Turkish daily's piece, Ankara plans to establish a 110-km long and 28-km wide buffer zone stretching from Karkamış to Öncüpınar. The Turkish Armed Forces are expected to conduct a synchronous operation on both sides.

46 different armed groups including ISIS present in Syria and their activities and capabilities are followed and recorded one by one, as Jarablous, which is 28 km away from the Turkish border is under ISIS control. Some 18,000 soldiers are expected to take part in the cross-border operation.
Turkey will first try to get diplomatic support of its NATO allies and US-led coalition forces. If Turkey's allies and coalition forces support Turkey, Turkish soldiers are most likely to be stationed in the buffer zone for two years.

If Turkey does not get diplomatic backing from its allies, then the "plan B" will come into play. "Southern Lebanon Model" will be used to conduct the operation as it does not require any United Nations decision to establish a buffer zone. Israel once used the model to secure itself in a region in southern Lebanon dominated by Hezbollah fighters.

If "plan B" is applied, Turkish soldiers will stay for a shorter time in the zone but will train and equip the Free Syrian Army to ensure the security of the region.

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