July 2015 marked a dramatic change for the Turkish government when it agreed to join the U.S. led coalition against the Islamic State (IS). For the last few years Ankara had ignored IS seeing the government of Bashar al-Assad as the real threat to the region. Advances by the Kurdish rebels in Syria and a desire to re-align with the Americans led to the reversal in strategy. Turkey is using this to its own advantage however as it is more interested in punishing the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and helping Islamist rebels in Syria than fighting IS.