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As the battle for Mosul concludes, the battle for Raqqa is entering its
initial phase. From a military perspective, the fall of these twin bastions of
Daesh was never in doubt. But tactical victories can only be turned into
long-term strategic gains if a political process is put in place. Otherwise, we
will see a “son of Daesh” and worse in Syria and Iraq.
The protracted conflict
between Turkey and some of the Kurds has obscured an opportunity for both sides
to advance their goals by returning to cooperation. This shared interest has
become especially urgent as the region’s failed states, Syria and Iraq, near an
Prince Michael of Liechtenstein
As Turkey’s unstable internal politics have lurched toward repression, its foreign policy appears to have lost direction. The escalating war with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has pushed resolution of the Kurdish question into the distant future, while terrorist strikes and a conflict with Russia have dragged Ankara deeper into the Syrian quagmire. Meanwhile, the suppression of voices critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has raised doubts about just how far the rule of law applies. Where is Turkey headed? This question is being asked in Brussels, Berlin and Washington. Since 2011, Turkish politics have been unpredictable.The answer matters because Turkey has a key role to play in any effort to resolve the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. In Western capitals, it is expected that Ankara will take a clear stance in the fight against Daesh, also known as Islamic State.
Dr. Udo Steinbach
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is back in the driver’s seat after his ruling party scored a decisive win in the November snap elections. While Mr Erdogan has never been a favourite of Western decision makers and opinion shapers, his renewed mandate makes him a useful partner in efforts to resolve the Syrian civil war and the migrant crisis that threatens to...