March 4 2020
Turkish President Erdoğan rides at full speed as if he has unlimited resources. There is an overflowing domestic mass he can address through the martyrs. However, this course of events requires serious resources and support. It puts Turkey into the position of a “proxy state” in Syria in the eyes of Syria’s enemies, starting with Israel.
HTS was supposed to have been eliminated with the Sochi Agreement. But HTS swept the groups Turkey was supporting and formed its own emirate in Idlib. They have now reunited with the “revolutionary” spirit of pre-2015. The story is this clear. This is the profile of Turkey's ally in the field.
The U.S. support for Turkey amid attacks from the Syrian regime came as something of a surprise. The reason for this is that while Washington is unlikely to intervene further in the Syrian theater, it is likely to use Turkey to carry out its objectives.
Every venture led by Erdoğan has benefited Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Amid this circle of fire, Turkey can hardly take on a potent role to push for peace. For the destructive choices it has made in recent years have taken their toll on constructive diplomacy.
Russia having a say in Libya is a sign of the strengthening of its position in the Mediterranean and an increase in relations in northern Africa, just as it means that they will be able to look at Europe from the south. After a similar trip to Damascus, this is now the equivalent of a jaunt to Tripoli wearing Ottoman boots.
Putting oil at the center of the Syrian crisis may affect the direction and feature of the war. The shooting of oil tankers at Al Bab and Jarabukus on Nov. 26 by unidentified planes was a pre-reminder of the oil war.The oil file is an unfulfilled desire for Turkey but at the same time it is a burning one.
Whether it be the U.S., Russia, Iran or the Syrian regime, all seem to want to re-settle the Syrian Kurds. While American’s policy is open-ended, it is also murky. Damascus is calling on troops within the SDF to join the national army. In other words, it does not recognize the SDF. The Kurds want to assess what Russia is capable of doing.
ISIS finding space for itself in Idlib will make it harder for Turkey to maintain its stance of obstructing operations in the region. It will also cause Turkey to be openly blamed. Then it will come to organizations Turkey is openly protecting. Turkey is quickly adding more pages to its crime folder because of the militia forces it sees as substitutes to Turkish army.
Ultimately, this agreement requires Erdoğan to coordinate himself with the Syrian government, which he calls illegitimate. In this setting, the next step would have him shake hands with Damascus. It is thus the first time Russia has been able to turn its wish into a written commitment.
How far will the US go to end its partnership with the SDF? According to the statement from the White House, the US will neither support Turkey's offensive nor protect the Kurds. Yet will it prevent the heavy weapons it gave the SDF from being used?
At the Turkish opposition's conference on Syria, it was openly stated that the path to peace passes through dialogue with Damascus. However, certain basic dilemmas should be overcome if an alternative way out is to be developed. The opposition should not fall into the trap laid by the government.
The Astana trio, made up of Russia, Turkey and Iran met in Ankara this week. Again, the event consecrated the failure of Turkey's Syrian strategy.