Turkey’s Southern Buildup May Aim at Kurds, Not Syrian Govt.

Forces May Target PKK Fighters Across the Border

Every day, more Turkish tanks are deployed along the border with Syria. With tensions on the rise between the Turkish government and the Syrian government, there are constant discussions of a Turkish invasion, insinuating them directly in the ongoing Syrian Civil War.

Diplomats, however, say that the deployment isn’t nearly what it seems, and that while some of the tanks may launch attacks across the border, the target isn’t the Assad government but rather ethnic Kurds in the region.

Several Kurdish factions are preparing for the possibility of war, and with PKK violence in southeastern Turkey on the rise the Turkish government sees more and more safe havens set up inside Syrian and Iraqi Kurdistan.

Many see Turkey’s endorsement of the Syrian rebellion as part of their Kurdistan strategy, figuring that the Arab Sunni nationalist rebels would be more eager to tamp down Kurdish secessionist ambitions than the Assad regime is.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.