Erdogan Escapes Crises Through Idlib

رجب طيب أردوغان

With the start of the Turkish military operation in the Syrian north, Syrians have shown big reaction. This reaction doesn’t need any analysis, as the ruling regime in Damascus has displaced them and used all the war machines to hit them, before the very eyes of a silent international community, that turned a blind eye to their agony.

We say Syrians, who hailed the Turkish military operation, although this hailing is not attributed to political or directive reasons; it’s rather attributed to the regime’s atrocities which led them to hail such an operation, according to MENA analysts.

On the other hand, we see that the guarantor, who supports the Syrians – Turkey – is involved in what Syrians have got, according to many rights reports and international condemnations.

This is because Ankara is the one that gathered the Syrians in “Syria’s Gaza” and forced them to go with the green convoys within de-escalation agreements, which plucked them out of their land after they paid all their precious to stay in.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was eating ice cream with his Turkish counterpart, wouldn’t meet him if the Turkish leader doesn’t admit Putin’s agreement. Moreover, Syrians will never forget the figs, which Astana’s three guarantors – Erdogan, Putin, Rohani – were eating in Turkey at the same time when most powerful war machines were crushing the Syrians in Hama, Idlib and Aleppo countryside.

The Turkish President lives a regional and international crisis today, and the deteriorating situation that he faces now is no more than a result of the challenges he decided to embrace, as he made deals at the Syrian’s expense, and provided his country with the latest Russian S-400 systems; but he didn’t stop here.

When Genocide was hitting hardest, he dispatched Syrians to fight for his interests in Libya, by doing this he completely burnt the Syrian file, rendering both Arabs and Westerns against the Syrian revolution.

Erdogan, who aspires to rule his country forever, believes in the principle of “aims justify the means”; he opened the borders for Syrians neither out of great love for them, nor out of generosity, he rather used his last card against Europeans when his policy in Syria reached a dead end, in attempting to force EU countries to support his plans in Syria, even if Syrians are to pay for such plans.

It’s noteworthy that Syrians have always wanted a united Syria, they didn’t want to accept the Sochi agreement and its takeaways, and this is one of the very stumbling issues in the Syrian file, as Erdogan in cooperation with the butchers of the Syrian people have moved the Syrian political file out of UN corridors to the halls of Astana and Sochi. And of course, we see the Muslim Brotherhood strongly being present there, as Erdogan is considered the spiritual father of the group.

The latest escalation in Idlib, last stronghold of Ankara-backed armed factions, led to the collapse of Ankara and Moscow’s attempts, as they were working since 2015 to impose a ceasefire despite their different interests.

On Friday, representatives of NATO member states held an emergency meeting at the request of Turkey, under the fourth term of the NATO treaty, where Turkey called for the establishment of a no-fly-zone in the Syrian north.

The fourth term triggers the “consultation over military matters, when the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened,” however, the NATO states haven’t declared any concrete measures at the end of the meeting, they rather declared their solidarity with Ankara.

Meanwhile, the director of EDAM Centre for Economic and Foreign Policy Studies, Sinan Olgen, believes that Turkey’s opportunity in obtaining NATO’s military support is very small, particularly after approaching Moscow and obtaining Russian S-400 system, which displeased Turkey’s allies.

“Turkey has no suitable choice in Syria,” Olgen says, indicating that the Assad regime’s strikes on Thursday “revealed the fragility of Turkey’s position due to its air force inferiority.”

“In other words, the Turkish forces remain exposed to air strikes,” he adds.

Yazid al-Sayegh, a researcher in Carnegie Middle East Center, says that “Erdogan faces today very difficult choices, all of which include high risks.” “Erdogan has no other choice but responding to the direct attacks of the Syrian army, but he has to avoid going too far in escalation,” he adds.

“Despite the volume of the current escalation, it’s no more than a high risk negotiation tactic that may lead to new Russian-Turkish understanding on Idlib,” al-Sayegh indicates.

“In short, I do not believe that a full-scale war will take place or that Turkey will reapproach NATO,” he expresses.

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