Suicide attack unlikely to change Turkish stance on Syria

July 22, 2015 10:04


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A suspected Islamic State suicide bombing that killed 32 people in a Turkish border town is unlikely to push Ankara to strike against the group in Syria, where it still sees Kurdish separatism and President Bashar al-Assad as the major threats.

Turkey has been a reluctant partner in a US-led coalition fighting Islamic State, refusing a front-line role in military action and arguing only Assad's ouster - not just air strikes on the radical Islamists - can bring peace. It is believed to favor some less radical Islamists who vie with Islamic State.

Ankara fears advances by Kurdish militia fighters, who now control the majority of the Syrian side of the border, will fuel separatist sentiment among its own Kurdish minority, potentially reigniting a festering three-decade insurgency. US air support for the Kurds is viewed with deep suspicion.

"It's not appropriate to expect changes to Turkey's Syria policy," one senior official told Reuters after Monday's bombing in the border town of Suruc, the worst attack of its kind in Turkey since Islamic State seized parts of Syria and Iraq.

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