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Why Turkish military isn't welcome in Syria, Iraq

Military and political observers say the Turkish government's failure to recalibrate its policies to better cooperate with the United States, Russia and Iran is undermining Turkey's security interests in Syria and Iraq.
A fighter of the Syria Democratic Forces mans an anti-aircraft weapon in the southern rural area of Manbij, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria May 31, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said - RTX2FA27

Turkey appears more like a concerned onlooker than an active participant in Iraq and Syria, as major US and Russian-supported offensives against the Islamic State (IS) continue to gather momentum, and key players jockey to gain spheres of influence in and around Fallujah, Mosul, Manbij and Raqqa once these cities are liberated from IS.

Turkey's only participation in these offensives has been to allow US-led anti-IS coalition jets to take off from Incirlik Air Base, and to engage in cross-border shelling of IS positions in northern Syria, mostly in response to IS shells lobbed into Turkey.

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