'NATO member Turkey gets immunity from violating international law'

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. © Francois Lenoir
Turkey uses NATO to carry out actions, whether it is downing Russian jets, sending extremist fighters and weapons into Syria or whether it is now as in this latest development – undermining Iraqi sovereignty, says independent political analyst Dan Glazebrook.

READ MORE: ISIS smuggles majority of oil through Turkey, says Iraqi PM amid ‘sovereignty violation’ rift

RT: Turkey is describing that as a “personal refresh”. What do you think is the purpose of the operation? Is that true?

Dan Glazebrook: If that was true I can’t see any reason to not coordinate with the Baghdad government. I think all of this has to be seen in the context of Turkey’s increasing cooperation and collaboration with the Kurdish-Iraqi state kind of government there. So, go back to May 2014 when Turkey began buying massive quantities of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan, in an act that was seen as illegal by the Iraqi federal government. They then pledged, in spite of that, to double the output in August of that year to 250,000 barrels per day. And so, this increasing collaboration between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan in a way which – whatever the Turkish foreign minister says - clearly is violating Iraqi sovereignty and clearly is undermining the territorial integrity of the Iraqi nation state.

RT: If it is an unwanted presence how might this further inflame regional tension? Is it going to influence negatively the situation?

DG: Yes, that is right. And I think it shouldn’t be seen as a completely independent move by Turkey to make these deployments which are very humiliating for Iraq, which do violate Iraqi sovereignty and kind of making these deals they bypass the Iraqi government with the Kurds in a way that actually robs Iraq as a whole of its energy and resources. That shouldn’t be seen as an independent move by Turkey - remember Turkey is a NATO member - and Turkey and NATO, I think, very often use each other. So, on the one hand, Turkey can get the backing from NATO, means that Turkey gets immunity for whatever it wants to do in terms of violating sovereignty or international law. But at the same time, Turkey uses NATO to carry out actions - whether it is downing Russian jets, whether it is sending extremist fighters and weapons into Syria or whether it is now, as in this latest development, undermining Iraqi sovereignty NATO will use Turkey to do those things that it wants to happen, it wants to slightly distance itself …

RT: How likely is it that any Western partners of Turkey might get involved - to persuade them to get out or otherwise?

DG: I suspect there will be at a best a token hand slapping and even that is probably quite unlikely. If NATO looked the other way while Turkey signed oil deals bypassing the Iraqi government last year, there is no reason to think that they are going to do anything different this time. And this is in accord with Western overall strategy to undermine potentially independent states such as Iraq, undermine its sovereignty and to territorially divide it, is completely in line with that strategy. So, I see no reason why the West would give Turkey a ticking off for effectively implementing their own imperial strategy.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.