The troops of Turkey with the participation of aviation and armored vehicles continue to conduct military operations in Syria against the “Islamic state” (ISIS banned in Russia) and the Kurdish forces that have long played the role of allies in the fight against jihadists and get their support. That threatens the Kurds by the military intervention of Ankara “MK” said a specialist on the Middle East Andrey Serenko.
One of the targets of the operation the Turkish — Kurdish militia. Photo: kurdistanskyscrapers.com
— Indicates whether the operation of Turkey in Syria on the spheres of influence of the major players?
It would be more correct to say probably not about the redistribution of spheres of influence, and the confirmation of their rights in the already existing sphere of influence. The interest of the Turks to the Syrian campaign boils down to two things. The first is to counter the emergence of the Kurdish enclave, which could claim some form of statehood on the territory of Syria, bordering Turkey. The second is the fight against “Islamic state” (ISIS/ISIL, a banned terrorist group. — “MK”), because the relations between Ankara and ISIS have changed. Today, the Turks regard him as the enemy. It completely fits into the concept of NATO. Turkey remains a member of the Alliance and will remain so, despite all the talk of withdrawal.
Erdogan smiling at the same time in all directions to protect its national interests in the region. Therefore, we must not delude ourselves and think that “holiday romance” between Putin and Erdogan may lead to some kind of political Alliance and partnership in the region. Strategic relationship, Turkey will build in the framework of NATO. Beyond this long-standing strategic Alliance of coalitions can not be. NATO is generally the last Alliance, where the strict legal obligations of the parties. I think that such alliances will not occur in short stories, and all of them will be of a situational nature.
Turkey has a serious conflict with the Israelis and Americans on the issue of the Kurdish project. But about ISIS they will surely agree. Turkey will seek to prevent the creation of the Kurdish project in the region. And we are talking about the Syrian territory. In Iraq, the Turks have just built a normal relationship with the Kurdish leaders, and they are quite peaceful, partner. No major complaints there Ankara does not show.
— Along the Syrian-Turkish border is already established enclaves, or cantons. That they will do Turkey? Swept away?
— No, the Kurds will not be able to sweep. It will be an intense process to find agreements. Neither the Americans nor NATO Kurds will not give up. They are too serious and effective allies in the region that conduct fierce battles with ISIS. The quality of training of Kurdish militants is very high: they were in Germany, and other NATO countries. It does not yield to Shiite militiamen and even surpasses them. So the Kurdish potential very serious. I think the search will be conducted of the form in which Turkey will receive a guarantee that she will not meet with another problem along its borders.
I don’t know whether these Kurdish cantons to join in some corridor. Why Turkey sent troops? She wanted to prevent the appearance of the corridor between the two enclaves. Then there was a threat of serious geopolitical node. On the other hand, we have before the eyes of Palestine, which is Gaza and the main Palestinian autonomy exist within one state, albeit not recognized by all. The presence of a land corridor is not necessarily a condition for the formation of any state. Some sort of Kurdish state in Syria, we still see. Now, in any case before the elections in USA, everything is frozen and sluggish condition.
The interests of Turkey and Russia approached the issue of Kurdish rejection of the project for another reason. First, Russia is satisfied with a United Syria under control of Assad, his Alawite clan, which would be oriented more to Moscow than to the West of the capital. At the same time, it is clear that full control over the territory of Syria need Moscow in order to avoid alternative energy projects. That’s all we need. The Kurdish draft is not native to Russian, because we are not “operators” of the Kurds. Therefore, the interests of Russia and Turkey coincide in this matter. I don’t think this is an issue that will be the basis for a certain Union. This is not enough to build a partnership for example with the same Iran.
Turkey concentrates its forces near the border with Syria.
With the victory over ISIS will increase the influence of Shiite Iran’s influence in the region. No one wants the fruits of victory over the jihadists took advantage of Tehran. Need some kind of counterweight to regional players, and that can be a counterweight to Kurdish autonomy. In addition, it may be of interest to the EU as a solution to the migration crisis. Today, Turkey is blackmailing the European Union by the fact that it is the gateway to this Union: forest refugees, want not let. It is a good tool for blackmail Brussels. European migration crisis was largely caused by the actions of Turkey. To deprive her of this monopoly would be very interesting for Europeans. If such Kurdish autonomy appeared in the region, the EU, I think, would willingly give money on camps and settlements for refugees.
And Turkey understands this?
— She knows it too. If you remember the same Germans who invest in Kurdish… Not by accident, when arrived the new Consul of Germany in Erbil, Iraqi media gave the news about his arrival: “Germany appreciates its army”. This is a hint that the Kurds are the German army. It is inconceivable that Germany dropped everything I was doing. I think the emergence of a Kurdish state is not discussed. The only question is the format, borders and status. The Kurds deserve a prize, but I think what’s hardest is to find a compromise. Is underestimated the diplomatic potential of NATO. We used to think of Alliance as a technology organization involved in military planning, and she has a very serious political component and significant political influence.
— You said that Turkey and Moscow agree on the Kurdish issue. But it seemed that Russia is sending positive signals to the Kurds. Even in Moscow was opened the representation of the Syrian Kurdistan.
— It is difficult to send signals to Syrian Kurdistan, at the same time supporting Assad. Choosing between Assad and some project, will choose the Syrian leader. The opening of a representative was associated with an attempt to expand Russia’s positions in the negotiation process in Geneva to not only look like lawyers Assad and expand the space for maneuvers. Moscow has taken steps such as negotiating with the moderate opposition. Russia except Ukraine everywhere supports the ruling group. Maybe, with the exception of Afghanistan. In relation to the regimes in Central Asia and the Caucasus, she tries to keep a policy of cooperation with the authorities. Moreover, Assad is not possible to choose something else. I don’t think Moscow this card miss. She loves working with those who have monopoly influence. Russia feels confident in this situation. So Kurds would be difficult. Therefore, Kurds have to cooperate with the United States…
But the US supports the Turkish troops from the air and generally advise the Kurds to move to the East Bank of the Euphrates, to avoid collisions.
Any other way will not work: the rigid methods of the Americans will attempt to align interests. They will save the Kurds some ways to withdraw from the Turkish strikes, look for them new site but they are definitely not cast. Throw the Kurds to the Americans — it means again to become dependent. It is not very well regarded by the allies that were involved in this campaign and in the last six years actively helped the Kurds in forming their own combat troops to fight ISIS. Americans have a complicated position, but they will find a form to agree on. Erdogan, of course, scored a lot of points, but they are valid until Nov. In November in the USA will be the new President and the whole situation will restart.
— Where the Turks can move and what are the risks here?
— I do not exclude that they will encounter with the forces of Assad, then Russia must wrestle with how to get out of this situation. The troops of Turkey was introduced not at the request of the Syrian government. I don’t think Turkey will go far. Their task is to control the border and prevent the unification of the Kurdish enclaves, which could become a state.