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Is Turkey 'big winner' after Soleimani killing?

Some observers assert that the killing of the Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani will increase US reliance on Turkey for its future military operations in the Middle East and enhance Turkey's overall geopolitical positioning, but such thinking may prove to be wishful thinking.
Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters pause before crossing into Syria, near the border town of Akcakale in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RC129277BCC0

Although some observers believe that Turkey’s importance to the United States and other Western governments will increase after the assassination of Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani, they shouldn’t be too quick to arrive at such conclusions in the aftermath of an event of such magnitude as to shake not only the Middle East but global politics as well.

Four days after the killing of Soleimani, Robyn Dixon wrote the following in a Jan. 6 Washington Post op-ed: “Some of the loudest critics of President Trump's order to kill a senior Iranian commander — other than Iranians — are Russian officials, who have denounced it as an illegal assassination and a politically motivated election-year decision. But it is Russia that may end up benefiting from the fallout. If the United States withdraws from Iraq as backlash over the killing widens, Russia could strengthen its foothold in the country — much as it did in Syria after Trump ordered a troop pullout there last fall, a step that was later partly reversed.”

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