Following up on the Turkish government’s narrative that the weekend Reyhanli bombings were caused by the Syrian government, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to press President Obama for “assertive action” against Assad this week.
Erdogan’s government blamed Assad almost immediately for the blasts, a fact many saw as an effort to prevent them being pinned on the PKK and derailing peace talks. Days later, however, the Assad allegations aren’t holding water.
Turkey arrested nine people over the bombings on Sunday, every last one of them a Turkish citizen, and all reportedly linked to an “old Marxist terrorist organization.” A key opposition MP said he believes that the Jabhat al-Nusra, a Syrian rebel group with links to al-Qaeda, is the culprit.
Protesters in southern Turkey have also clearly repudiated the government’s narrative, saying they believe the bombings are simply blowback from the Erdogan government’s hasty intervention in Syria’s fighting.
Still, the Turkish government seems to be sticking to its story no matter how few people believe them, and that is fueling the push for US intervention as well. Though the US is unlikely to be “fooled” by the allegations, they may well be the excuse that US hawks have been waiting for.
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