Turkish tanks at the ready to invade Syria. Will They Go?
Turkey is at war with the Kurds not ISIS not Al-Nusra. Turkey immediately vows response in Syria and Iraq. Then, within hours, Turkish warplanes bombed bases in northern Iraq of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state and which Davutoglu accused of collaborating in the car bombing. Of course nobody knows yet, or maybe ever, just like the hospitals bombed in Syria a few days ago, who did the bombings but the Russians and Syrians strongly deny they had anything to do with the hospital bombings and all the Kurdish groups inside and outside of Turkey deny they had anything to do with the blast in Ankara and have no idea of who did it [though the Kurds all suspect ISIS as the most probable culprit].
Whoever did the Ankara bombing it's timing sure was convenient for Turkey who has been condemned by the US, France and the EU for shelling the Syrian Kurds this week and who has threatened to invade northern Syria to protect its last good overland routes, routes it uses to re-supply and re-enforce it's ISIS and Al-Nusra allies there as well as the the routes that run between the Syrian oil fields and Turkey's refineries.
The Kurds at the same time also warned Turkey of a ‘big war’ with Russia if Turkey invades Syria. Saying "Russia has promised to protect Kurdish fighters in Syria in case of a ground offensive by Turkey, a move that would lead to a "big war." Adding "We take this threat [of an invasion of N. Syria] very seriously because the ruling party in Turkey is a party of war," Rodi Osman, head of the Syrian Kurds' newly-opened representative office said in Kurdish via a Russian interpreter. "Russia will respond if there is an invasion. This isn't only about the Kurds, they will defend the territorial sovereignty of Syria." Russia itself said it is helping the Syrian Kurds militarily and Nikolai Kovalyov, a former head of the Federal Security Service, the main successor to the Soviet KGB, said that Russian jets would bomb Turkish troops if they enter Syria.
Everyday the situation looks more dire. Turkey and Saudi Arabia look set to invade but only with Washington's approval and participation. Without the US it's an empty threat because the combined Russian, Syrian, Iranian militias and Hezbollah would demolish them. In fact Turkey won't even fly across the border to bomb the Azaz area because the Russian anti-aircraft misslies would blow them out of the sky. So for now, it's artillery fire, bombastic rhetoric, and the attempt to get the US to back their play.
Turkey wants a ‘secure line’ created 10km inside Syria, including Azaz and has issued an ultimatum to the US saying the US has to choose whether it wants to back Turkey or the Syrian Kurds. Turkey will use the bombing in Ankara as their justification and the Saudis will too. Both of them will try to get NATO and the US to follow by saying they, Turkey - a NATO member, and the Saudis - an American ally, are under attack.
The next move seems up to the US who've repeatedly said they won't send in ground troops and that the Kurds in Syria and Iraq are the only truly effective anti-ISIS and Al-Nusra forces. What Turkey and the Saudis are forgetting is that by doing nothing the US can allow Russia to be their firewall. Turkey and the Saudis are surrounded by enemies - Russia, Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, the Shia Iraqis and the Kurds [who are by and large secular and neutral in the Sunni/Shia confrontation though they detest Whabbism]. Will Turkey and the Saudis go into Syria without the US...no way...it's all a bluff designed to get the US and NATO to support them.