Baku, Azerbaijan, June 30
By Rufiz Hafizoglu, Trend:
With each passing day, Turkey is increasingly becoming drawn into a conflict with Syria, or to be precise with different terrorist groups controlling the Syrian border areas.
Turkish authorities say that for their country it makes no difference which group controls the Syrian border towns - either it is the Kurdistan Workers' Party's Syrian wing called the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing the People's Protection Units (YPG), or the militants of the "Islamic State" (IS).
For Ankara the risk of the northern Syria falling under control of the Kurds means a step towards creation of a new Kurdish state in Turkey's south. And Ankara will never accept this.
On the other hand, the control of the northern Syria by the IS will be a ticking time bomb for Ankara. That is, in any case, Ankara will find itself in crossfire.
The Syrian city of Kobani has been controlled by IS militants for the third straight day. After the Turkish authorities announced about their intention to create the safe zones in this country, the IS terrorists started to mine the border with Turkey, fearing that the Turkish Armed Forces will enter the territory of the Caliphate.
Previously, it was also reported that Turkey is considering the establishment of safe zones in Syria between the cities of Aleppo, Idlib and the Turkish border, with the inclusion of the border towns of Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), Jarabulus and others.
This issue becomes so urgent for Ankara that the opposition parties began opposing the establishment of safe zones in Syria. Ilker Basbug, former head of the General Staff, has recently made a statement that the Turkish Armed Forces' units may enter Syria to establish the safe zones in this country, but will be unable to leave its territory.
There is no doubt about the capability of the Turkish army. The matter rests in the fact that the Turkish army is the enemy of all warring factions in Syria - the Kurds, the IS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists.
The Free Syrian Army, which has lost all its combat capabilities and Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces which can assist in combating the "Islamic State", but by no means will fight Syrian Kurds, can be considered the only allies of Turkish armed forces.
Nevertheless, one shouldn't forget that one of the three largest camps created for Syrian servicemen is located namely on Turkey's territory, in the province of Hatay.
One interesting point is overlooked when assessing Turkey's intention to create safe zones in Syria. For the present, Ankara intends to take this step without the assistance of the coalition forces which hasn't achieved real success in combating the "Caliphate" so far and it is a risky step for Turkish armed forces.
If Ankara has made a decision to enter Syria, it is a matter of time when it does. Nevertheless, it should be taken into account that the 90-kilometer long safe zone in Syria will be the most dangerous zone for Turkish servicemen.
Edited by SI
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu