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WASHINGTON – Turkey is reconsidering its public condemnation of the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad and its treatment of opposition groups in Syria because of worries about blocked transport routes as well as the possibility of violence from Kurdish interests, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.
The effect of Turkey's position is to undercut the Syrian opposition factions who had been protesting Assad's rule, a Shi'ite-backed Alawite regime.
In addition, Turkey has been working more closely with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood which forms much of the opposition and is backed by Saudi Arabia. Turkey, which is Sunni, has a number of reasons for the shift in its position, according to informed sources.
The Turks increasingly are concerned that Syria will unleash its strong presence of Kurds against Turkey, which already has come under increasing attacks from the Kurdish PKK, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist group.
At one point, the Turks were threatening military action against Syria to create a buffer for refugees and fleeing Syrian military personnel, but now that talk also has subsided.
Meantime, Syria has begun its own version of sending a clear message to the Turks by halting massive numbers of Turkish trucks whose owners depend on transit routes through Syria to trade with the rest of the Middle East. Hundreds of trucks have been stopped at the Syrian border and are being charged higher tariff rates.
This is Syrian retaliation to the targeted sanctions the Turkish government imposed against the Syrian government against bank lending and conducting business with Turkish firms.
Trucks returning to Turkey also are being halted at the Syrian border and not allowed to proceed.
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