A few days ago, a meeting of the foreign ministers of Syria, Russia, Iran and Turkey took place in Moscow, in favor of what Russia calls “re-normalization of relations between Turkey and Syria.” Some had expected that this would happen before the Turkish elections on Sunday, May 14, and there was haste by both Iran and Russia to conclude the agreement with Syria before the elections, because “the one you know is better than the one you get to know,” as the popular proverb says, and because The danger posed by other candidates who are organically linked to the United States of America. However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not reach an agreement with the Syrians within the conditions set by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which are summed up by ending the Turkish occupation and stopping support for terrorist groups in northern Syria. Erdogan really cannot do that at the current stage.
After Erdogan’s advisor, Yassin Aktay, called on January 9 of this year, while talking about returning Syrian refugees to their country, to “[وجوب] Putting Aleppo under Turkish control,” days after the spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party, Omar Celik, announced an expected meeting between Erdogan and Assad. Aktay’s call, which was controversial, revealed Turkey’s true intentions, especially as it was followed by a statement Months later to the Turkish Foreign Minister, Cavusoglu, on April 25 in an interview with TRT Haber [الإخبارية التركية]that the Turkish forces will not withdraw at the present time from northern Iraq and Syria.
Davutoglu’s remarks came on the eve of a meeting of defense ministers and intelligence chiefs of Syria, Russia and Iran in Moscow. The timing of the statements is not innocent. So Davutoğlu stipulates that the meeting between Erdogan and Assad should not be without preconditions, which were set by Syria, and which the Syrian president emphasized during his visit to Moscow last month. The Turkish minister presented security concerns and fears from the terrorist groups that control northern Syria and Iraq, and he undoubtedly means the Kurdish organizations. He added that Turkey does not aspire to carve out parts of Syria, but that withdrawal can only be achieved “when security is established and full stability returns to those areas.”
And in an attempt to understand the Turkish fear, and in fact the matter is not due to its lack of belief in the ability of the Syrian state to restore security control and stability in the areas that it will return to the Syrian Arab Army extending its control over, which can be read today after the congress re-extension of the American occupation of the northeastern Syrian island and in the region Al-Tanf in the Syrian Badia. The fear comes from the American support for the Kurdish groups in Syria, the SDF in particular, and the Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Let’s go back a little to understand what happened! On May 16 of last year, the US Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, who has Jewish roots, visited Turkey. This came two months after the visit of the head of the Jewish entity, Isaac Herzog, to Turkey. Sherman confirmed with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal the strategic relationship between the two countries and they discussed areas of joint cooperation. There was certainly a discussion of the Ukrainian situation, but more importantly there was a discussion of the need for solidarity between the allies and partners of North Atlantic, and certainly other discussions, including what became clear after months, which was the reopening of the Hebrew embassy on September 19 of the same year, and the return of normal relations between the Zionist entity and Turkey.
During his visit, Herzog shook the carrot stick of the economy in front of Erdogan, and the most important thing related to that was the Israeli military industries, including the Israeli drone and tank factories in Turkey. In addition to that, the economic exchange for other industries and tourism. So Erdogan, or Turkey, has economic interests both with the temporary Jewish entity and even with the United States. In addition, there is a major role for the entity, as well as the United States, in supporting the armed terrorist Kurdish factions, which constitute a great concern for Turkey. Until today, the Americans were still allowing the Turks to bomb armed Kurdish sites in northern Iraq and Syria, knowing that the Turks had targeted sites of the popular crowd and the Syrian army, “by mistake, of course.” That is, the benefits are still mutual, and the great economic temptations offered by Russia and Iran are great with Turkey, and the volume of trade exchange with each of them has reached billions of dollars. However, Turkey considers that the Iranian and Russian need for it is greater as a source of foreign exchange income, specifically the dollar.
So Erdogan, until today, does not want to put his eggs in the basket of Russia and Iran alone, and he is still willing to play on international contradictions despite the apparent decline of American control in the world. America is still unable to set conditions for an agreement to remove the historical relationship between Syria and Iran from the accounts. Today, after the visit of Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi to Syria, the political, security and economic relations between the two countries have deepened, which put the US administration in a more difficult situation than it is. Iran has not stopped developing its peaceful nuclear program and missile defense program, nor has Syria stopped supporting the resistance in Palestine and Lebanon. Thus, according to the American opinion, the circle of danger to the Zionist entity has widened.
Thus, if Erdogan withdraws his army from northern Syria, and he originally proposed the slogan, “East of the Euphrates first,” he thinks that this will put him in confrontation with the Kurdish factions if the Americans remain or prolong their presence in northeastern Syria. In addition, the volume of trade exchange with the Jewish entity, which is protected by America, must be compensated. Knowing that there were mutual visits between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which included economic agreements that are in the interest of Turkey first and cannot be passed without the consent of Syria, which will not be obtained without reconciliation with the Syrian state. The poor thing has been stuck between the chicken first equation or the egg, and he is vacillating and cannot make up his mind.