Football diplomacy brought Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan together in Doha for the opening of the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
After a terrorist attack in Istanbul killed six and wounded 81, Turkey retaliated, launching a fierce air campaign against targets it claimed to be Kurdish militias in northern Iraq and Syria supporting the PKK. Whether Erdogan will stop there remains unclear as he threatens Turkey’s fourth ground incursion into Northern Syria since 2016 – a threat he has made without follow through since May 2022.
A conflict of interest between Ankara and Washington over Syria will likely see the two drift apart, with Turkiye aligning more closely with Eurasian powers.
Many see the brewing war on the Kurds in Syria as a distraction manipulated by Erdogan in his effort to boost nationalist sentiments ahead of the election.