A group of tanks of the Turkish army on the border with Syria, 25 Aug 2016
Photo: Ismail Coskun/AP
The Turkish government started preparations for a military operation in Syria in June 2015, but this was prevented by the military who took part in the coup attempt a year later, learned The Washington Post
The government of Turkey for over a year was planning to send troops to Syria to combat “Islamic state” (banned in Russia as a terrorist organization), but against the incursions were made by the officers of the armed forces of the country, which in July took part in the failed coup attempt. On Friday, reports The Washington Post citing a senior Turkish official, who requested anonymity.
According to the interlocutor of the newspaper, the attack of Turkish troops on the positions of the “Islamic state” in Northern Syria has been planned since the beginning of June 2015, but all the proposals, the Turkish military has consistently rejected.
“Some commanders in the Turkish army worked hard to thwart the plan of Turkey to attack on ISIS. They again and again come up with excuses like the lack of military capacity that is not allowed to implement the plan of the government”, — the interlocutor told The Washington Post.
A military coup in Turkey
On the night of July 16, in Turkey there was a military coup attempt. In Ankara, the helicopters of the Turkish army attacked government buildings, in particular the General staff and the headquarters of the intelligence…
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“Some of the most vocal opponents of military action ultimately participated in the coup attempt”, he added.
The reluctance of the military to launch an operation in Syria was due to other causes, including the high-profile attack on the Turkish air force Russian bomber that was shot down in November 2015 at the Turkish-Syrian border. As indicated by WP, the Turkish military feared Russian “retaliation”, so we were forced to stop flying over Syria. This, in turn, would prevent them to carry out air support operations.
On 24 August, Turkey began the operation “shield of the Euphrates”, in which the Turkish army is providing support to Syrian rebels against ISIS militants and Kurds. Currently in Syria are Turkish tanks and Ankara has reported the capture by the rebels of the city of Dzharablus, which has long been under the control of terrorists.
According to The Washington Post, information that some Turkish soldiers tried to prevent the start of operations in Syria, partially explain the apparent reluctance of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take a more active role in the fight against ISIS, as urged by the United States.