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ANALYSIS – Turkey really should have known better – it should have learned about the value of fair weather friends from the experience of Saddam Hussein of Iraq who was backed to the hilt by the West and the Gulf states during his long running and frankly pointless war with Iran. Even when his French supplied aircraft fired Exocet missiles into an American ship killing that nation’s sailors, Washington did not waiver from supporting an ally who it regarded as a key pillar in its Mid East foreign policy.  When that war was over Washington turned its back on that ally leaving him with colossal debts, after all this was a butcher who had gassed the Kurds at Halabja. Later it emerged that Washington was arming both sides so ensuring the conflict dragged on for as long as possible. Having being bled on the battle field Baghdad now faced the Arab states who applied the squeeze by calling on their ‘brother’ to make good on all those loans he had racked up, whilst increasing oil production so keeping the oil price low.
We know the rest of the story.
All of which makes you wonder what the democratically elected government of Ankara was thinking when it turned on its until then close ally – Syria under the benign dictatorship of President Assad. Perhaps Washington would make good on that promise it had made on pushing Europe into accepting the Turks who have remained firmly at the gates of Brussels – even whilst newly states have been readily accepted. Well that now looks even further away than before as Turkey is blamed for creating ISIL, the Islamist death cult that Washington is waging war on in Iraq and Syria. It is a conflict that has drawn in Assad as an ally, much to the dismay of Turkey and the Arab states who had spent much treasure and energy recruiting arming and training a rebellion aimed at toppling the regime at Damascus. What they were going to replace it with is not clear – perhaps another version of the weak and incompetent leadership in Libya or perhaps Iraq. But what is now clear is Turkey is out in the cold – following a failed policy to remodel the Mid East along neo Ottoman lines – quite what the old Caliphs would have thought of the satellite that is called Turkey is another matter of course.
Turkey now knows that neither Washington or NATO will or the Gulf states are able to, help them remove Assad, who is backed by Russia and China as well as Iran. And should Ankara wish to pursue its destiny in the East the leaders of Moscow, Beijing and Teheran are unlikely to be impressed by the way that it had turned on its ‘brother’ in Syria. And as the Kurds claim victories on the battlefield, the calls for more American support are likely to increase pressure to install a pro-Western and Israel friendly regime on Turkey’s border called Kurdistan, which in turn will increase pressure within Turkey as the PKK pursue an agenda for a greater Kurdistan.

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