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Turkey: Between Iraq and some hard choices

Turkey: Between Iraq and some hard choices
Recent events make rapprochement with Israel start to look desirable.

by Prof. Norman Bailey

Recent events in the Middle East have placed Turkey in a most uncomfortable situation, with hard choices and few options.

After supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an ultra-violent jihadist group which split with its al-Qaida sponsor after its leader was killed in Iraq and moved operations to Syria to fight the Assad regime, Turkey is now faced with dealing with an ISIL at least temporarily triumphant in northern and western Iraq as the result of a lightning offensive earlier in June which saw US-trained Iraqi forces melt away before its advance.

ISIL, whose leader Abu Bakr al-Bagjdadi has just announced the formation of a new Muslim Caliphate with himself as the “Caliph Abdullah”, is in turn faced not only with resurgent Shiite Iraqi forces staging a counter-offensive with the help of Iran, Russia and the United States, but also flanked in the north by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq and the Kurdish area of northeastern Syria; both regions now practically independent.

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