Post-Assad Syria: Turkey’s Perspective

Neal Rauhauser

I just finished reading the Bipartisan Policy Center‘s paper U.S. – Turkish Cooperation Towards A Post Assad Syria. I knew I had been missing nuance but I did not realize how much complexity there was in the relationship between the two countries.

First, Syria has been spilling refugees all over the region. Jordan is poor, Iraq is fragile and even their smaller contingent is causing trouble. Lebanon experiences a fragile balance of ethnic and sectarian tensions. The 420,000 new residents upset that balance and threaten to tip the country into chaos like it had in the 1980s.

Second, the Kurds were mostly at peace with Turkey until Syria fell into disorder. The Syrian government withdrew from Kurdish turf to reduce their interest in the fighting, then it is possible both Syria and Iran had a hand in setting the Kurdish PKK‘s insurgency back in motion against Turkey…

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