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Is Erdogan promising a ghost army in Syria?

Erdogan promises to set up a “national army” in the area to be cleansed from the Islamic State in northern Syria, but with the combat assets available to him, never mind a national army, even a force to secure the cleansed area will not be easy.
Saudi King Salman welcomes Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 13, 2017. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTSYHV6
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When talking to the Russians, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasizes Syria's territorial integrity and a peaceful resolution to that country's civil war. When talking to the Americans, Erdogan advocates a US-Turkish partnership that will also include a buffer zone. When he is conversing with Gulf leaders, the Turkish president slams Tehran and Damascus. A Syrian policy with a truly oriental flavor!

In his recent Gulf tour of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and in violation of the spirit of the Astana process jointly promoted with Russia and Iran, Erdogan expanded its targets in Syria. According to the Turkish president, Operation Euphrates Shield will continue after ousting the Islamic State (IS) from al-Bab. The new objectives will be Manbij and Raqqa in a three-phased operation. First will be setting up a "terror-free safe zone," which must also be covered by a no-fly zone. Second, Arabs and Turkmens will be settled in the safe zone. Finally, a national army will be established through a "train and equip" program.

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