But there is another issue looming that could not be resolved by a limited buffer zone: ISIS in Syria is said to be approaching the tomb of Suleyman Shah (Süleyman Şah in Turkish).
I wrote about this anomalous shrine back in 2012, when the Syrian Civil War threatened it and then Prime Minister (now President) Erdoğan identified it as a Turkish interest that Turkey would definitely defend. It is an enclave of sovereign Turkish territory deep within Syria; it flies the Turkish flag and is guarded by a Turkish honor guard. In 2012, Erdoğan said that an attack on the tomb would be treated as n attack on Turkish sovereign territory and thus as an attack on NATO. Given ISIS' propensity for blowing up tomb-shrines (which it considers idolatrous), there is little reason to think they would spare the tomb of Suleyman Shah.
|Location of the Tomb|
Given Erdoğan's so-called "neo-Ottoman" policies, his threats in 2012 to defend the tiny enclave (geographers actually call it an "exclave" of Turkey; it's an "enclave" within Syria) were unsurprising.
|Turkish Soldiers at Tomb (Wikipedia)|
The tomb was not actually threatened in 2012, but with ISIS said to be moving toward it today, and with their track record of blowing up tomb-shrines, the threat is clearly one more factor pushing Turkey towards intervention.