Turkey’s parliament has passed a resolution calling for military intervention in Syria and Iraq under the pretense of fighting the Islamic State.
The resolution passed with a three-quarters majority and will allow foreign troops to use Turkish territory to conduct operations inside Syria.
The BBC reports the Turkish government has “been under pressure to play a more active role in the US-led fight.”
Turkey had previously attempted to invade Syria under the pretext that ISIS threatened the Tomb of Suleiman Shah, the only sovereign Turkish territory inside Syria. This did not provide the pretext necessary for an invasion.
Turkey’s chastisement is for propaganda purposes. In fact, Turkey has played a pivotal role in supporting Saudi and CIA supported and U.S. military trained mercenaries fighting a proxy war to topple the al-Assad government in Syria. ISIS is at the forefront of this effort, although the U.S. has attempted to disguise its support while denouncing the group.
Turkey: Hands On with ISIS and al-Nusra
As documented by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan has supported the al-Nusra Front and other Islamist mercenary groups.
In June Turkish lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) accused the Erdoğan government of protecting and cooperating with jihadist militants of the Islamic State and the al-Nusra Front.
The charge was leveled after ISIS commander Abu Muhammad allegedly received treatment in Hatay State Hospital on April 16, 2014, after being injured during fighting in Idlib, Syria.
Additionally, CHP Istanbul deputy İhsan Özkes said militants of the al-Nusra Front were allowed to stay at the guesthouses of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) under the monitoring of the National Intelligence Organization in the southern province of Hatay, according to Hurriyet Daily News, the oldest current English-language daily in Turkey.
Cooperation with ISIS, moreover, has proved economically beneficial for the Turkish government. CHP lawmaker Ali Ediboglu accused the Erdoğan government of buying oil from Syrian and Iraqi fields occupied by ISIS.
“$800 million worth of oil that ISIS obtained from regions it occupied this year [the Rumeilan oil fields in northern Syria — and most recently Mosul] is being sold in Turkey,” Ediboglu told al-Monitor.
Proxy Boots on the Ground
The inclusion of American troops in the ISIS war – which is, in fact, a war on the Syrian military and the al-Assad government – remains politically unviable. Arab and Turkish troops under the command of the Pentagon and its Gulf Emirate partners will fill that void as the ISIS War gets up to steam.
“This war – presented as a new war against a new enemy, ISIS – is in fact a continuation of the three-year old war against the Syrian state,” writes Dan Glazebrook.
The ISIS War, soon to include invading Turkish troops, will ultimately “provide the pretext for the West to take more direct control of its war against Syria, paving the way for Turkish occupation, airstrikes against Syrian infrastructure, and the direct coordination of insurgent groups whose ideology and methods are a virtual carbon copy of those of ISIS.”