Examining security implications of Turkish invasion of Syria

DelhiWritten By: Jyotika TeckchandaniUpdated: Nov 07, 2019, 04:28 PM IST

File photo of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Photograph:(AFP)

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India needs to be vigilant and must not allow Turkish nefarious design to affect its peace and stability. 

Considerable attention has been paid to the Turkish invasion of Syria that took place in the first week of October. While Turkey entered into a ceasefire in a separate agreement with the USA, as well as, Russia since October 15-16, there remain serious international concerns about de-stabilisation of the already war-torn region and its implication for giving a flip to international terrorism.

However, not much analysis has come out with regards to its security implications for India, which has the third-largest Muslim population in the world. 

An analysis of the security implication of the Turkish invasion of Syria for India requires an understanding of the Turkish motives behind this illegal invasion. The fact that Turkish invasion took place on the eve of ‘official declaration of defeat of ISIS’ and withdrawal of American troops from Syria on the pretext of fighting YPG, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, which played crucial role in the defeat of ISIS speaks volume about the mal-intentions of the Erdogan regime: (A) Erdogan’s grip over his countrymen is declining as evident from the loss of Istanbul mayor election in view of rising economic crisis, as well as, growing level of sectarian conflict within the country. This invasion was meant to divert people’s attention from this internal mess; B) This invasion is linked with his personal ambition to showcase himself as emerging Caliph of the Muslim world; C) The Erdogan regime derives its strength from the ‘politics of blackmailing’; A perennial destabilised Syria with a potential to ‘export refugee’ allows the Erdogan regime to bargain with Europe in particular and the West in general, (D) To bring a demographic change by transferring the millions of Syrian refugees, who are living inside Turkey, into the autonomous Kurdish region along the Syrian-Turkish border so that the issue of Kurdistan ceased to pose a threat to Turkish territorial integrity.         

In the light of the above motives, the Turkish invasion of Syrian territory raises the following security implications for India : (A) By all account, the invasion led to freeing up the jailed ISIS terrorists, which were being controlled by YPG Kurdish forces ; the freeing of ISIS terrorists has serious implication for coordinating the global terrorist activities, particularly in the AfPak area which runs into the troubled Kashmir; (B) Erdogan himself has emerged as source of Islamicist radicalism; (C) The global ambition of Erdogan of assuming the mantles of Caliph has led him to hold every year an international conference on Muslim minority population. Indian Muslims often figure in this conference as an oppressed entity; (D) Erdogan’s utterances on Kashmir in his UN speech and his blind support to Pakistan on the issue raised a prospect of ‘Islamic alliance’ against India.

India needs to be vigilant and must not allow Turkish nefarious design to affect its peace and stability.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)