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Are Israel, Turkey becoming buddies?

Posted By F. Michael Maloof On 09/09/2012 @ 4:43 pm In Front Page,World | No Comments

Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.

WASHINGTON – As Turkey continues to help in the move to oust the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, it will be looking for new regional friends – and Israel may be that country, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

While relations have been stretched since the May 2010 Mavi Marmara episode, Israeli officials have been meeting quietly with Turkish counterparts to discuss ways to improve relations.

For Israel, it would like to see Turkey be the main influence in the region, particularly in the shape that a post-al-Assad government would take, rather than seeing neighboring Syria taken over by radical Sunni Salafists.

At the same time, analysts believe that Turkey can’t press al-Assad too hard because of the Syrian government’s influence over the Kurds who recently have been undertaking more terrorist activities inside Turkey, some of it in response to Ankara’s efforts to unseat al-Assad.

One regional source told WND/G2Bulletin that relations between the two countries would be further along if it weren’t for their respective foreign ministers who each are considered to be hardliners in their views in the dispute between the two countries as well as who to support in a post-al-Assad Syria.

The source said that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu continues to back the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts in Syria, a development which Israel is increasingly concerned about as even more radical elements begin to take over the Syrian opposition.

The source added that Israel has shown frustration that Ankara has given the appearance of having turned a blind eye to this development. However, a source said, there appears to be increasing desperation in Ankara over the policy it has followed in initially backing the Brotherhood to take over in Syria, but now that seems unlikely.

“Turkey may well be tempted to support all elements of the opposition,” the source said, suggesting that Ankara wouldn’t object to more radical Sunni elements taking over next door to Israel.

“Another factor in Ankara’s calculations is the considerable influence of Saudi Arabia, which too appears to have an interest in the more radical elements of the opposition,” the source said. “If this scenario continues, this will aggravate Turkish-Israeli relations.”

Consequently, any smoothing of relations will continue to be done behind the scenes, unless Israel were to attack Iran. Then the source believes any such effort would come to an abrupt halt.

“At the moment, Ankara is increasingly just firefighting,” the source said. “Strategy has long ago gone out of the window, which to be honest is making everyone here (in Turkey)…very nervous.”

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