'Will air strikes help spread the Syrian conflict to other countries in the region? The important point here is to take on board how far it has already spread and the degree to which it already destabilising Syria’s neighbours. The al-Qa’ida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, which fights in both Iraq and Syria, has already become stronger thanks to Syria, and is responsible for bombings in Iraq more intense than anything seen since 2008. The same organisation is responsible for ethnically cleansing Syrian Kurds in north-east Syria, 40,000 of whom have already fled to the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq. If the Assad government becomes weaker then the Islamic State, al-Nusra Front and other jihadists, the most effective rebel fighting forces, will be strengthened.
Turkey is likely to support US actions, its importance depending on whether or not the US air base at Incirlik in south-east Turkey is used. Turkey has a 560-mile long frontier with Syria but it is vulnerable to Syria and Iran acting through Turkey’s Kurdish minority. Turkish government support for the rebels in Syria is also strongly opposed by the Turkish opposition who have been reinvigorated by mass street protests this summer.