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Turkey is in a tough spot. It has ISIS militants threatening the Syrian border town of Kobani, inching ever closer to confronting Turkish security forces. In addition thousands of Syrian Kurds, fleeing ISIS attacks, have massed along its border, adding further to Ankara's troubles.

Amid mounting pressure to become more active in the U.S.-led international coalition against ISIS, the Turkish parliament last week overwhelmingly authorized its military to make incursions into Syria and Iraq; also to allow foreign troops to operate out of Turkish bases. The move has been greeted in Western capitals as a welcome sign that Turkey is finally fully on board with the anti-ISIS coalition.

Yet the Turkish parliament's actions herald neither a complete about-face in policy toward Syria nor immediate military action against ISIS. Indeed, Turkey's reasons for joining the war may be more to do with suppressing Kurdish separatists and removing the al-Assad regime than with destroying the jihadist group.

Toppling the leadership in Damascus and keeping in check the Syrian Kurds who are closely linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, have long been Ankara's priorities in Syria.

The wording of last week's parliamentary resolution -- which states that "the terrorist elements of the outlawed PKK still exist in northern Iraq" -- suggests that Kurdish separatists still remain the Turkish government's top concern.

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