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Sunday, February 18, 2018

The expert about the “Olive branch”: Erdogan longs for his own victory in Syria

Undertaken by Turkey since the end of last week, “operation Olive branch” in the North of Syria continues. Just a couple of days the Turkish air force, according to the General staff of the country was struck more than 150 targets, was also involved ground troops. Military operations conducted against the Kurdish groups, which Ankara a terrorist. According to the Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the operation will not be long. However, the activity of Turkey in Syria, since 2011, torn by civil war, many causes for concern. About why Erdogan decided to resort to the “Olive branch”, and where it will lead, “MK” talked to an expert.

photo: AP

Last year, Turkey in conjunction with Russia and Iran actively involved in the process of political settlement of the Syrian crisis. A series of talks in Astana, initiated by Moscow, Tehran and Ankara have proven the viability of this “triangle”, despite the fact that the interests of the parties in Syria is still different.

The current operation is causing concern about the prospects of the Astana format. In Damascus, Turkey was subjected to severe criticism, even threats to bring down the Turkish military aircraft in Syrian skies. Iran in turn continues to be the most important ally of Syria in the region, so the “Olive branch” there are approval are not met. However, the Deputy Director of the Institute for strategic studies and forecasts of PFUR Dmitry EGORENKOV, it is unlikely to complicate the negotiation processes with the involvement of Tehran and Ankara.

“The operation currently being carried out by Turkish armed forces in Northern Syria, are very important for domestic policy and reputation of the Turkish President Erdogan, – the expert said in an interview with “MK”. – Both Russia and the United States, and to some extent Iran openly and justifiably talking about their own victories in Syria: over the militants of the “Islamic state” (ISIS/ISIL is banned in Russia as a terrorist organization), etc. Turkey has still such outstanding achievements were not, therefore, Erdogan was extremely important to show that now he has his own victory. It is this political capital, the Turkish leader will use in the future as part of the process of peaceful settlement in Syria, the negotiations, which, no doubt, will continue in Astana format, both in Geneva and in Sochi. Erdogan was important to enlist such an ideological support to themselves and to those forces that Ankara supports the Syrian territory. It is not a secret that the part of the opposition, which operates in Idlib, supported by the Turks in terms of weapons supplies, of financing; these movements help Turkey in fight against Kurdish”.

Another important point to Erdogan’s relations with the United States, a major partner of Turkey in NATO. The Americans support the Kurds in Syria and Iraq, in connection with which has repeatedly criticized Ankara’s position on the Kurdish issue. “Obviously, the United States tacitly approved of the Turkish operation, suggests in this connection Dmitry Egorenkov. – Despite the relatively rough statements of Washington, no real opposition, the Americans do not have Turkey. All assumptions on what is now Turkish aircraft will stray, was not well founded”.

“At the same time in Ankara understand that to get involved in a serious fight in Syria Turkey is not ready. And with high probability the Turks in the next few days I can say that all the goals in the course of the operation is achieved, what security zone is created, the main terrorist group is defeated. Indirectly in favour of such a development is evidenced by the lack of serious resistance from the Kurds, obviously, they have the understanding that “Olive branch”, but rather, demonstrative operation, not a real military confrontation”, – the expert concludes.


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