Turkey for the first time since 2011, resigned to the fact that Syria will continue to rule the Bashar al-Assad, and agreed to direct talks with Damascus. The announcement came amid fierce fighting broke out between the Syrian army and Kurdish forces, backed by the US. Ankara, which sees the main threat to the Kurds suddenly found themselves on the same side of the front with Damascus.
After recovering from the military coup, the Turkish authorities intend to pursue a more active policy on the Syrian track. This conclusion follows from the statements made in the Saturday statement, the Prime Minister Binali Yildirim of. In his words, Turkey sees as a threat to its national security and Damascus, and the Islamic state*, and especially the Kurds, and Assad in the eyes of Ankara, is now the lesser of two evils.
“We have informed the Russian, where we are. They informed us that he had informed the Syrian side. I would only say that we will defend ourselves if we feel threatened”
Perhaps this change is related to the warming of Russian-Turkish relations, as well as the fact that Assad and the Syrian Kurds on the eve of the first came into a tough fight.
As stated by Yildirim, the current President of Syria “have no place in the future of the country, negotiations were needed, “as it is today one of the actors, whether we like it or not.” In the list of forces that should not be in the neighboring country, the Prime Minister mentioned, that is, a comma, the Assad regime, the Kurdistan workers ‘ party and the “Islamic state”. We will remind that since 2011, Ankara has consistently demanded the immediate resignation of the President of the neighboring state.
About changing positions, analysts warned in July, when Turkey closed the border crossing of Bab al-Hawa. He went through the flow of refugees from Syria. And in the opposite direction of the militants of different groups fighting against Assad – before they were supported by Ankara.
And now Yildirim admitted that the Syrian leader may remain in power for a “transition period” (the Turkish authorities had previously only hinted at such a possibility), and even did not rule out direct talks with him.
As you know, Turkey is trying to emerge from diplomatic isolation in which she was once President Recep Tayyip Erdogan managed to quarrel with almost all its neighbors. After a coup attempt by his opponents added another and the United States refused to extradite preacher Fethullah Gulen (his Erdogan called responsible for the violent attempt at regime change).
“The improvement of our relations with the United States depends on the Gulen issue, and in this matter there is no place for discussion”, – categorically said Yildirim. However, he admitted the possibility of Russian planes based in Incirlik, now used by Americans. However, he reminded that Moscow with such a request, so this possibility seems more like a bargaining chip in the negotiations of Turkey with the United States.
Obviously, another reason for the adjustments was the fact that Assad was suddenly the enemy of the enemy of Turkey. On Saturday, as reported by “Euronews”, began the hard fighting in the area of Hasaka city between the Kurdish people’s defense forces (YPG) on the one hand and the Syrian army on the other. In the battle used tanks, aircraft and artillery. Of course, the collision between these two forces was before, but they never took such a serious scale. For example, the air RAID on the position of the Kurds of the Syrian air force carried out for the first time since the beginning of the civil war. The number of deaths in the Kurds was estimated at forty.
Previously, the YPG fought mainly against the “Islamic state” and even considered as the vanguard of the hammer together USA groups designed to discourage jihadists of their capital city of Raqqa. And now in the camps of this Kurdish movement American instructors. To protect them, the Pentagon even flew their planes. RIA “Novosti” reports that the U.S. air force intercepted two Syrian fighter jet was carrying out a combat mission over the Hasaka. The Russian military space forces in the fighting in the area did not intervene.
“We have informed the Russian, where we are. They informed us that he had informed the Syrian side. I would only say that we will defend ourselves if we feel threatened,” said CNN, the commander of us forces in Syria and Iraq, Stephen Townsend.
Yildirim, however, if trying to tease the Americans, endorsed the strikes on Syrian military on the Kurds in the district of Hasaka. In his opinion, the actions of Assad’s army in the district of Hasaka indicate that the Syrian government “realized the threat to the unity of the country”.
Turkey, even during the best of relations with the US extremely wary of the YPG. It is however, like any armed Kurdish group in Ankara is considered as a real or potential ally of the Kurdistan workers party, advocating for the creation of the current Turkish territory to an independent Kurdish state. Even more distrust cause Erdogan is a de facto independent Kurdish Autonomous state in parts of Syria and Northern Iraq.
Particularly concerned about Turkey’s Kurdish enclaves in Syria. Because they expand at the expense of successful fights, which are supplied from the West, the Kurds against the “Islamic state” and other radical groups. In the spring, the Kurds declared autonomy Federation of North Syria”. This negatively perceived as Erdogan and Assad.
Russia also tried to reconcile the Syrian authorities and the Kurds playing the role of mediator. The paradox lies in the fact that the clashes between Assad’s forces and YPG, though, and will crush any hope of reconciliation between them, suddenly the de facto Sami will reconcile Ankara and Damascus.
The day before, right during the wedding in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, near the Syrian border, the bomb exploded, claimed the lives of at least fifty people. A suicide bomber blew up, came directly to the wedding ceremony. This handwriting Islamist groups. Responsibility for the attack has not picked up, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan laid it on the “Islamic state”, which seems quite logical. Moreover, according to him, the suicide bomber (or bomber) was a girl of 12-14 years. I should add that most of the victims of this terrorist attack – the Turkish Kurds. Among the dead are children.
* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”