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Experts: Turkey is testing the US and Russia

Although the air strike comes a week after a bomb attack in Istanbul in which six people were killed, they believe that the military offensive has been planned for a long time.

Turkey believes Kurdish organizations in Syria are behind and describes the attacks as retaliation.

At the same time, this is an area Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long wanted to carry out an offensive against, according to Michael Sahlin, former ambassador to Turkey and now active at the international peace research institute Sipri.

The last time an offensive was launched was in 2019, when Ankara received harsh criticism from large parts of the Western world.

Waiting for USA and Russia

Turkey has long since announced its intention to again militarily attack Kurdish targets in northern Syria and northern Iraq, says Sahlin.

Aras Lindh, analyst and Turkey expert at the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs, thinks the same.

– From a Turkish point of view, this is an opportunity to draw parallels between the Syrian Kurdish organizations and the PKK, he says.

Michael Sahlin says that the US and Russia have previously rejected the idea of ​​carrying out a ground invasion in northern Syria, where both have forces.

– I think this is a test from the Turkish side, to be able to move on. They are now putting both Russia and the US in a dilemma about how much they should react to this, says Sahlin.

Their response to the airstrikes can determine how and if the offensive develops. Aras Lindh says that Turkey must get the green light from both.

– Ultimately, that is what is required, these are areas where both countries have a military presence, he says.

Consults with the EU

Sweden’s foreign minister Tobias Billström (M) writes to Expressen that Sweden will consult with the EU about its view of Turkey’s bombing in Syria.

It is markedly different from the sharp criticism Sweden led against the Turkish offensive in 2019.

Not particularly surprising, given the ongoing NATO process where Turkey can say no to Sweden’s entry, according to the experts.

– This is because Sweden makes completely different security policy assessments. The question is how the US chooses to respond, says Aras Lindh.

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