(Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Turkey’s ongoing fighting in northern Syria’s Idlib governorate was – from the beginning of recent escalations – clearly a continuation of Washington’s wider now 9 year-long proxy war against Damascus.
Events in the “Broader Middle East” since 2001 have followed a relentless logic. The current question is whether the time has come for a new war in Turkey or Saudi Arabia. The answer depends in particular on the resumption of hostilities in Libya. It is in this context that the Additional Protocol negotiated by Presidents Erdoğan and Putin to resolve the Idleb crisis must be interpreted.
A UN-mandated report, which accuses Russia of war crimes in Syria, heavily relies on anonymous sources and lacks evidence, but also smacks of deliberate disinformation that is halting the eradication of terrorism in Idlib.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech on November 9 last year on the 81st anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey. Photo: AFP / PhotMurat Kula / Anadolu Agency
At the start of their discussion marathon in Moscow on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with arguably the most extraordinary diplomatic gambit of the young 21st century.
Erdogan wants Idleb but neither Syria nor Iran nor Russia will let him have it. President Putin will meet Erdogan during the coming days and will make sure that the point is understood.
President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and President Vladimir Putin of Russia met today in Moscow. They had a 160 minute long talk under 4 eyes and another round with their relevant staff. The parties agreed on a new ceasefire in Idleb governorate. Continue reading →
Refugees wait Saturday to cross the border between Turkey and Greece near the Pazarkule border post, in Turkey. Thousands of migrants and refugees, including Afghans, Syrians and Iraqis, have massed at Turkey’s border with Greece after Erdogan announced on February 28 that Turkey would no longer prevent them from leaving for the European Union. Photo: AFP / Burcu Okutan / Sputnik
After 33 Turkish troops were killed in a Syrian army offensive on February 27 amidst the current Russia-backed campaign to liberate Idlib, Erdogan responded by laying the blame entirely on Russia and Syria – successfully avoiding all mention of the uncomfortable fact that Turkey has been protecting radical terror networks not only in Idlib but across Syria as a whole for years.
If Turkey’s Erdogan had some ‘neo-Ottoman’ dreams, they seem to have been almost fully shattered by the fast-pace Russia-Syria offensive in norther Syria and recovery of the territory hitherto being controlled by the so-called ‘rebel’ forces, including those being funded by Turkey ever since the beginning of the ‘civil-war’ in Syria. An analysis of the evolution of Turkey’s policies in Syria shows that it has been a massive failure. Starting with the objective of ‘sending Assad home’, which ultimately meant to allow Turkey to extend its influence in Syria and thereby impose a ‘permanent solution’ on its Kurdish problem, to collaborating with Russia, Iran and Syria in Sochi and Astana processes, Turkey’s primary motivation has always been to raise its regional strategic profile in a way that allows it to become a new regional hegemon. It has been trying to maintain a calculated distance from the US/NATO, considering that the US support for the Kurds remains the key element of its Middle Eastern policy, and it has been maintaining a calculated relationship with Russia—Syria in the hopes of finding the same ‘permanent solution’ to its Kurdish question through a direct control of large swaths of Syrian territory.
Recently, Ankara has crossed the line by transforming its supposed anti-terrorist operation in Syria into a full-fledged invasion. Essentially, it wouldn’t stop in spite of Moscow’s repeated attempts to talk some sense into its partner and the repeated warnings voiced by Damascus. In fact, Ankara has been answering attempts at pursuing deescalation in Syria by making provocative statements. Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan described the events unraveling in Idlib as “a war”, while his Defense Minister Hulusi Akar demanded Russia to “step aside” and allow Turkish Armed forces to deal with Bashar al-Assad’s troops.
The Syrian Arab Army continues its campaign to liberate Idleb governorate. The current main area of operation is in the southeast of the terrorist held area where the SAA attacks in a northern and western direction. The aim of the operation is to bring the M4 highway from Latakia to Aleppo under government control. Continue reading →