Russia and Turkey’s relation further deteriorates as both countries threaten each other should they make unnecessary moves in Syria. While Turkey is a NATO ally, several reports now say that NATO may not side with Ankara when it goes to war against Moscow. Could the tides be changing?
The United States and Russia recently initiated a ceasefire in Syria but Turkey just expressed its doubts over the matter. In fact, it has maintained that it will still continue attacking Syrian kurdish fighters. “I welcome this truce, but I am not very optimistic that it will be respected by all the parties,” Al Jazeera quoted Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus. Furthermore, the official added that Turkey will continue shelling targets like the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) – which Russia ironically previously expressed support before.
“Turkey will defend its territorial integrity. That is clear,” added Kurtulmus. The official said that he has reservations over the ceasefire since he thinks Russia will still proceed with its air strikes in the region. A report from Consortium News said that a source told Robert Parry about Vladimir Putin’s intention to nuke Ankara should it threaten Moscow’s interests.
While Turkey remains strong on its stand to defend what it thinks should be defended, NATO members are not as supportive according to a report from German magazine Der Spiegel via New Europe. The international community reportedly already asked Turkey to halt operations against the Syrian Kurds. However, despite the requests from US and EU, Turkey maintains that it reserves the right to conduct military operations on overseas grounds. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn also further reportedly told Der Spiegel: “NATO cannot allow itself to be pulled into a military escalation with Russia as a result of the recent tensions between Russia and Turkey.”