Ankara suicide bombings cast long shadow over Turkey’s Syria policy

The National reports: The deadly suicide bombings in Ankara have heightened fears that Turkey’s troubled Syria policy may be experiencing blowback.

The twin attacks – Turkey’s most devastating in recent history – killed at least 97 civilians and wounded 246 more on Saturday during a predominantly Kurdish peace rally in the capital.

ISIL is the prime suspect in the suicide bombings, and investigators are close to identifying one of the perpetrators, prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Turkish broadcaster NTV on Monday.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dangerously supported hardline militant groups – such as the Army of Conquest, a coalition that includes Al Qaeda’s Syria branch Jabhat Al Nusra and the Salafist group Ahrar Al Sham – to topple Syrian president Bashar Al Assad.

His contentious policy in Syria was already under strain before this, with Russia directly intervening in the war and the US forging close ties with Turkey’s other nemesis on the ground – the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

The growing tussle of superpowers in the Syrian war is edging Turkey out of the equation, according to analysts. [Continue reading…]

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