A busy year for Turkey- Where will Erdogan stop? Turkey’s Military Operations in 2019!

The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is unstoppable, as he is slowly but surely upsetting every friends he has and is pushing his luck/agenda on all front.

In Syria, his army and proxies pushed into Syrian-Kurds held territory, simultaneously going against the will of both Washington and Moscow. 

In the Mediterranean, last week,  his Navy expelled an Israeli research vessel which was sailing in Cypriot waters. Said waters are obviously claimed by Ankara/North Nicosia. Here, Greeks, Turks and Israelis are at odds as to who will get to exploit oil and gas reserves found under the seabed.

Earlier on this week, Ankara was accused of sheltering Hamas operatives on its soil, letting them plot freely against Israel.

This week, again, his Airforce violated Greek airspace 40 times in one single day, provoking mock dogfights between two (supposedly) NATO allies.

Speaking of NATO allies, tensions have escalated further between Ankara and Washington: As the threat of American sanctions against Turkey increases, so does the threat of Turkish counter sanctions against the US (linked to the purchase of the Russian made S-400 SAM).

Ankara has long threatened to close the US airbase of Incirilik in retaliation for US Sanctions. But earlier this week, in response to the US recognising the Turkish Armenian genocide, Erdogan escalated further, hinting that he could also close the  (NATO operated)  Kurecik radar station! 

Finally, this week, again, Erdogan has said he will respond positively to a demand from the internationally recognised Libyan government for military assistance.

The GNC holds Western Libya and is internationally recognised by the UN as the country’s lawful government. The GNC is challenged by the House of Representatives which controls Eastern Libya. General Haftar and his Libyan National Army fight the GNC on behalf of the House of Representatives. Haftar is officially supported by Egypt, the UAE and Russia. Paris and Washington are ambivalent. They know Haftar is supported by Moscow. They also know that the GNC, despite being recognised by the UN, has strong Islamist roots.

Russia has provided Haftar with weaponry, currency and several hundreds mercenaries. Said Russian mercenaries were accused last week of having shot down an American drone over Tripoli.

If Ankara sends ground troops in Libya, there’s an increased risk of armed clashes between Turkish servicemen and Russian contractors.

It’s been a fairly busy 2019 for Erdogan’s Turkey, then. And 2020 already looks hectic for the country and its strongman.

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