Change has come to the Middle East. Over the past several weeks, multiple press reports indicate that Turkey is collaborating militarily with Syria in a campaign against the Kurds of Syria, Iraq and Turkey.
Turkey is a member of NATO. It fields the Western world's top weapons systems.
Syria is Iran's junior partner. It is a state sponsor of multiple terrorist organizations and a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction.
Last September, as Turkey's Islamist government escalated its anti-Israel rhetoric, Ankara and Damascus signed a slew of economic and diplomatic agreements. As Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made clear at the time, Turkey was using those agreements as a way to forge close alliances not only with Syria, but with Iran.
"We may establish similar mechanisms with Iran and other mechanisms. We want our relationship with our neighbors to turn into maximum cooperation via the principle of zero problems," Davutoglu proclaimed.
And now those agreements have reportedly paved the way to military cooperation. Syrian President Bashar Assad has visited Istanbul twice in the past month and then two weeks ago, on the Kurdish New Year, Syrian forces launched an operation against Kurdish population centers throughout the country.
On Wednesday, Al-Arabiya reported that hundreds of Kurds have been killed in recent weeks.
The Syrian government media claim that 11 Kurds have been killed.
There are conflicting reports as well about the number of Kurds who have been arrested since the onslaught began. Kurdish sources say 630 have been arrested. The Turkish media claims 400 Kurds have been arrested by Syrian security forces.
Al-Arabiya also claimed that the Syrian campaign is being supported by the Turkish military.
Turkish military advisers are reportedly using the same intelligence tool for tracking Kurds in Syria as they have used against the Kurds in Turkey and Iraq: Israeli-made Heron unmanned aerial vehicles.
Even if the Al-Arabiya report is untrue, and Turkey is not currently using Israeli-manufactured weapons in the service of Syria, the very fact that Syria has military cooperation of any kind with Turkey is dangerous for Israel. Over the past 20 years, as its alliance with Turkey expanded, Israel sold Turkey some of the most sensitive intelligence- gathering systems and other weapons platforms it has developed. With Turkey's rapid integration into the Iranian axis, Israel must now assume that if Turkey is not currently sharing those Israeli military and intelligence technologies and tools with its enemies, Ankara is likely to share them with Israel's enemies in the future.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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