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Turkish Tanks Set Off to Protect Borders From US 'Greater Middle East' Project

© AFP 2023 / Nazeer al-Khatib Turkish soldiers fire an upgraded M60 tank during fighting against Daesh terrorists near the northern Syrian village of Beraan, north of the embattled city of Aleppo, on October 24, 2016
Turkish soldiers fire an upgraded M60 tank during fighting against Daesh terrorists near the northern Syrian village of Beraan, north of the embattled city of Aleppo, on October 24, 2016 - Sputnik International
Alarmed by US plans to redraw the borders of the Middle East, Turkey's activities in Iraq, and willingness to align forces with Russia and the Syria government, are an effort to prevent Washington from realizing its ambitions, former Turkish air force commander Erdogan Karakus told Sputnik Turkiye.

A Turkish army position is seen near the Oncupinar crossing gate close to the town of Kilis, south central Turkey, close to the Syria border, on February 16, 2016 - Sputnik International
Turkey Moving Armored Vehicles to Kilis on Syrian Border
Turkey's recent military deployment to its borders with Iraq and Syria is an effort to protect Turkey's national interests and resist US plans to redraw the Middle East, former Turkish air force commander Erdogan Karakus told Sputnik Turkiye.

On August 24, Turkey launched its "Euphrates Shield" operation in Syria, and began to deploy infantry and dozens of tanks across the border to assist units of the FSA in an offensive against Daesh at Jarabulus. 

The operation also aims to contain the expansion of US-backed Kurdish militia in northern Syria, following the success of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in liberating Manbij from Daesh terrorists.

On Tuesday Turkey began to deploy tanks and armored vehicles to the town of Silopi near the Iraqi border, in response to the involvement of militia groups including the Shiite Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and Kurdish Peshmerga in the ongoing operation to liberate Mosul from the Daesh terror group.

Turkey's requests for its own military involvement in the Iraqi-led, US-backed operation to liberate Mosul have been rebuffed by the Iraqi government.

Turkish army tanks and military personal are stationed in Karkamis on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Gaziantep province, Turkey, August 25, 2016 - Sputnik International
Turkey 'Just Looking After Own Security' With Tank Deployment to Iraqi Border
Former Turkish Air Force Commander Erdogan Karakus told Sputnik Turkiye that Turkey's preparation for deployment in Iraq is an unwelcome development for the US and its plans to redraw the borders of the Middle East.

"The US is trying to implement its project in the Middle East, called 'Greater Middle East,' and it's trying to use the Iraqi government to carry out this aim. However, Turkey's actions in Iraq are interfering with the US attempt to establish sole control over the whole of Iraq," Karakus said.

"Washington understands that the current Iraqi government is weak, and is trying to exploit that to realize its Greater Middle East project, which involves the complete re-formatting of the region."

"The Kurdish territory of Iraq is practically under the control of the US. The Iraqi government is seeking to capture Mosul without the involvement of the Turkish military. If that happens, then Iraq will be under US control, which will lead to its split," Karakus warned.

The former commander said that Ankara and Moscow are sure to have shared their concerns about the US plan, as demonstrated by the recent visit of Turkey's Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar to Moscow for a meeting with his Russian counterpart General Valery Gerasimov. 

A Syrian national flag waves as vehicles move slowly on a bridge during rush hour, in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016 - Sputnik International
Cooperation Between Moscow, Ankara, Damascus 'Way Out of Deadlock in Syria'
Turkey's operation in Syria intends to liberate Syrian territory from the Daesh terrorist group as far as the city of al-Bab, but Ankara has no intention of entering Aleppo, Karakus said.

"I am sure that Ankara will very soon come to agreement with Damascus, and a joint operation to liberation Syria's Raqqa from the terror group can be expected soon, because there is no way that Raqqa can be left to the Americans."

"At the moment Turkey is trying to agree with Russia, and with the support of Russian armed forces and those of the Syrian government, to carry out an operation to liberate Raqqa. This scenario would preserve the integrity of Syria and allow the Syrian government to control large areas of territory. In turn, this will be a blow to the US Greater Middle East project."

The commander said that Turkey is keen to negotiate with Russia and Syria in the knowledge that only a coordination of their forces can prevent the US project to carve up the Middle East.

"Otherwise, if Ankara isn't able to agree with Moscow and Damascus, it will suffer great losses. Turkey has begun to understand that and is obviously making every effort to join forces with the Russian and Syrian forces," Karakus said.

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