Gabriel Gavin in The Telegraph: Erdogan taking advantage of Western preoccupation with Russian invasion of Ukraine to pursue expansionism

LONDON — In recent weeks, Turkey has escalated its attacks on civilian and military locations in North and East Syria and northern Iraq.

In commentary for British media outlet The Telegraph, Gabriel Gavin argued that Turkey is taking advantage of the West’s preoccupation with the Ukrainian war to carry out attacks on North and East Syria and pursue its expansionist ambitions.

Gavin highlights the concerns of Western countries about the return of the Islamic State (ISIS) in the chaos caused by the Turkish attacks, pointing out that the reason that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stopped their operations against ISIS a few days ago is not because it no longer poses a threat but rather that the SDF are facing continuous Turkish bombardment and threats of a ground attack.

The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to blackmail the West in more than one dossier to implement its goal of occupation, he argued, saying the most notable example is Turkey’s threat to hold-up the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as compliance with Western sanctions against Russia.

In Sweden, authorities deported Kurdish asylum seeker Mahmut Tat who fled to Sweden in 2015. Upon landing in Istanbul, a Turkish court sentenced Tut to six years in prison for his supposed membership in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê, PKK).