Friend Turned Foe: Turkey Rounds on Syria in Regional Power Bid
Turkey, Syria's neighbor and long-time ally, is now taking an active role in attempts to dethrone Assad. Ankara is backing Western actions, reportedly providing a base for training Syrian rebels and even discussing a no-fly zone with the US. Back in 2002 Turkey, strictly following its newly-designed "zero problems with neighbors" foreign policy, was engaged in building strong economic, political, and social ties with neighboring countries. Everything was going to plan until the Arab Spring hit the region. Turkey faced a choice: to maintain its policy of engagement with authoritarian Arab leaders, or to take a different path. And Syria became the country which felt the full force of Ankara's policy u-turn when Turkey came out in support of Syria's opposition and aligned itself with the country's staunch enemy -- the US. Turkey found itself in the frontline of the Syrian crisis last June when thousands of Syrians poured across its border, fleeing a government crackdown on the town of Jisr-al-Shughour. At the time, the Red Crescent said it was caring for 30000 refugees in camps just inside Turkish territory. Threats of the conflict spilling into Turkey caused Ankara to consider sending troops into Syria to create a buffer zone. In the event, it was not deemed necessary, but the tensions did not help relations between the two neighbors. Turkey claimed that the Syrian crisis could not be resolved through negotiations, that Bashar al-Assad could no longer be trusted, and <b>...</b>
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