As tensions between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan escalate, Central Asia has become a new front in the Turkey-Iran rivalry

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As tensions between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan escalate, Central Asia has become a new front in the Turkey-Iran rivalry

During the last week, a new round of border confrontations erupted between the former Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Despite the efforts of the member countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) to establish a cease-fire peace, Turkey continued to stoke the fires of hostilities.
The execrable role of Ankara amidst the ongoing hostilities between Dushanbe and Bishkek is a grim reminder of the detrimental Turkish efforts in the South Caucasus region and its unwavering support for Baku against Armenia, which is maliciously striving to severe the shared borders between Iran and Armenia.
In the wake of the border conflicts between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the Turkish-affiliated media often broadcast footage showing successful strikes by the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 UAVs on Tajik targets.
Commentators believe that Kyrgyzstan has been emboldened by Turkey’s ominous interference to expand the scope of its border disputes with Tajikistan, which were previously confined to limited areas.
Turkey’s support for Kyrgyzstan is consistent with its commitments to defend members of the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS). In fact, Erdogan is attempting to assume a paternal role for OTS members and to open up Turkey’s commercial and cultural influence in Central Asia. Furthermore, Ankara seeks to set the stage for NATO and the Zionist regime’s encroachment beyond the Caspian Sea, thus endangering the national interests of non-Turkish countries such as Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.
Iran, in contrast to Turkey, opposes the escalation of instability in the South Caucasus and Central Asia, which is detrimental to the economic, political, and security interests of all countries in the region.
Tehran has tried to reach a détente with Tajikistan after a period of political upheaval, and now Tehran and Dushanbe are determined to foil the conspiracies by cooperating closely in the military and intelligence domains.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to defend friendly nations in Central Asia, namely the Persian-speaking Tajikistan, against hostile forces. As a matter of fact, Tehran has endeavoured to boost Tajikistan’s military capabilities by implementing substantial measures, including setting up a production line for the Iranian-homegrown Ababil-2 UAV. Tajiks can now inflict heavy damage to their Kyrgyz adversaries. By deploying Iranian attack drones, one of the finest options in asymmetric warfare, able to be equipped with a variety of missiles, unlike Russian drones, which can only be used for daytime surveillance.
Meanwhile, Russia and China also have a common understanding with Iran and disagree with Turkey’s provocative policies, which have contributed to the current escalation of tensions between Dushanbe and Bishkek.
The lingering, decades-long territorial disputes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, both of which suffer severe economic turmoil, extend back to the Soviet Union. Approximately 600 kilometres of the boundary
between the two nations remains undelineated.
Given the abundance of pastures and water resources along the unclear border regions, any demarcation efforts would incite serious conflict. Frictions between Tajik and Kirghiz local farmers over meadows and water sources have repeatedly fueled violent exchanges of gunfire between Tajik and Kirghiz border guards.
Another factor contributing to the border dilemma between the two Muslim nations is the enclave Tajik village of Vorukh, surrounded by Kyrgyzstan, which regularly sparks violent cross-border fighting. It is impossible to connect Varukh to Tajikistan except through a narrow road under Kyrgyzstan’s sovereignty.
Tajikistan is concerned that Kyrgyzstan will try to seize Varukh and its vast water resources.
By highlighting their common Turkic heritage and language, Turkey seeks to augment its influence in Kyrgyzstan, notwithstanding the need for translators to communicate on both sides. Turkey’s policy of active participation in Kyrgyzstan’s politics has shifted the power dynamic between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, which had previously relied only on Russia for their military equipment. In fact, the emerging political and military dynamic between Bishkek and Ankara has fueled arms competition and heightened tensions in Central Asia.

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