The battle is expected to be bloody; however, in the end, the Islamic State will be defeated at Mosul. Sadly, it’s what comes after the battle that is concerning.
In 1923, Turkey lost what is now northern Syria and Iraq, in the Treaty of Lausanne. In the treaty, as the Ottoman Empire collapsed, the British Empire forced Turkey to relinquish these lands. Since then, Turkey has resented the lose of this territory.
President Erdogan, with his Islamic authoritarian nature, would rejoice in reclaiming this land. In addition, since this territory is inhabited by Turkey’s enemy, the Kurds, he hopes to halt any chance of Kurdish independence.
It will be difficult for Erdogan to accomplish these goals. Even though the U.S. and Turkey are NATO allies, the U.S. is a strong supporter of the Kurds. Secondly, the U.S. wants to preserve the territorial integrity of Iraq. There’s no evidence yet to suggest a shift in this U.S. policy.
Erdogan has another challenge, from an ancient empire with Persian ambitions – Iran. Since Turkey is Sunni and Iran is Shiite, the two will clash. Last week, Shiite protests erupted in Baghdad. They took to the streets to protest Turkey’s involvement in their county. Most likely, their anger is being encouraged by Iran.
Here at Crock’s Thoughts, I’ll continue to monitor the trends evolving in the Middle East. Unfortunately, old empires never die, they just sleep for a bit, until the geopolitical fault lines shift in their favor again.