DAMASCUS, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) — The international intervention in Syria was until last year under the hood, with what analysts called a proxy war.
The proxy war is still ongoing, but in 2016 the super powers have become more personally involved in Syria’s nearly six-year-old conflict.
MILITARY INVOLVEMENT OF TURKEY
Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Ankara has sided with the opposition, and later played a significant role in supporting the rebels with the aim of toppling the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
All that time, Ankara was supporting the rebels from a distance, by allowing the flow of arms and foreign fighters through its territories and by also establishing training camps for the rebels on its territory.
But his year, the situation got different, as Ankara sent in troops to Syria to support some rebel groups it has for long backed.
There are many reasons behind sending special forces and tanks into Syria.
The ostensible reason was to support the rebels’ Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group under a campaign called the Euphrates Shield.
The second reason, which is the main one, is to allow the FSA to fill in the void in areas stripped from IS to cut the road before the Kurdish fighters could take over, as Ankara’s red line is a growing Kurdish influence in northern Syria near its borders.
Those were the first most declared goals behind the Turkish campaign until President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently said that the Turkish Army entered Syria to end the rule of President Bashar Assad, whom he accused of terrorism and causing the deaths of thousands.
“We entered (Syria) to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror. We didn’t enter for any other reason,” the Turkish president was quoted by Huyrriyet newspaper last month.
Osama Danura, a political analyst, told Xinhua that the international intervention in Syria has become more significant and clearer than the previous years.
“Such countries have started to deal directly after its subordinates failed to achieve its scheme in bringing down the regime and the Syrian state,” he said, warning that such intervention will increase the risk of terrorism in the region.
“It’s without a doubt that the intervention of Turkey is more obvious this year,” Danura said, adding that the Turkish intervention has become more flagrant than any other time, particularly after the entry of Turkish tanks and forces inside the Syrian territories.
Meanwhile, Danura, who holds a PhD in political science and is one of the government negotiators to the inter-Syrian talks in Geneva, didn’t shun aside the possibility of a direct confrontation at some point between the Syrian army and the Turkish forces.
He, however, said that such confrontation could still be far ahead.