Ankara has announced plans to expand the so-called security zone deeper into northern Syria, after rebels – backed by Turkey's tanks and air force as part of the ongoing Operation Euphrates Shield – achieved a “strategic and symbolic” victory against ISIS.
The Syrian conflict has now become a “proxy war” between the two Cold War superpowers, believes Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Numan Kurtulmus, who warned that that the conflict could escalate beyond the Middle East.
Ankara may continue its operation against Islamic State deeper into Syria – to within just 50km of Aleppo, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the Turkish military plans to create a 5,000-sq-km safe zone within the country.
The Obama administration is trying to keep the Syrian war simmering, hoping that Clinton will take office in 2017, said Jim Jatras, former US diplomat. She’ll want to dig in with both feet in support of so-called ‘moderates’ against Assad, he added.
The Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army has “eliminated” ISIS and other terrorist “microbes” along a 55-mile stretch of the Syrian border, two weeks after Ankara opened a new front in its Euphrates Shield military operation in northern Syria.