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Assad, not Islamic State, in Ankara’s crosshairs

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is trying to convince Washington that the real enemy is the Syrian regime, but appears to be failing to do so as the US-led coalition keeps its focus on the Islamic State.
Turkish soldiers are seen on top of an armoured vehicle, with the Syrian town of Kobani in the background, near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border, in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province October 3, 2014. Kurdish fighters defending a Syrian border town warned on Friday of a likely massacre by Islamic State insurgents as the Islamists encircled the town with tanks and bombarded its outskirts with artillery fire. Turkey said it would do what it could to preven
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Turkey’s active participation in the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) is looking less and less likely, despite the parliament's Oct. 2 authorization to send troops to Iraq and Syria. That mandate was seen in the West as a prelude to Turkey’s decision to finally act against IS, but it is increasingly evident that Ankara’s priority remains taking out Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

This priority, however, is at odds with the mission of the anti-IS coalition as defined in the Jeddah Communique signed Sept. 11 by the Gulf Cooperation Council states, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and the United States. The communique only mentions a resolve to destroy IS.

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