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MOSCOW, August 25. /TASS/. Ankara’s official statement Turkey, the United States, and possibly Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and also Britain and France will launch a large-scale air operation against the Islamic State has nothing to rely on in reality, the director of the Religion and Politics Institute, member of the presidential council for interaction with religious organizations, Aleksandr Ignatenko, has told TASS in an interview.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday said the operation would sound a message to Syria’s President Bashar Assad and help put pressure on his administration to bring it to the negotiating table for the search for a political settlement of the crisis."
Ignatenko believes that the mentioned countries have different visions of the crisis in Syria. "Saudi Arabia, for instance, is bogged in the conflict in Yemen. It just lacks the capability to participate in resistance to the Islamic State in Syria. Other states in the Middle East have their own problems, too, just as the EU member-countries. This explains why they have not said a word yet about their readiness to join a future operation Ankara has just announced," Ignatenko told TASS. "It remains to be seen whether the Middle Eastern and EU countries wish or can do something specific for struggle against the Islamic State. The international coalition had been proclaimed a long time ago. Allegedly it incorporates 40 states. But no concrete results have been achieved over the past months. The idea has popped like a soap bubble."
Ignatenko believes that Cavusoglu’s statement was made in reply to Washington’s pressures on Ankara. "The US Administration was very angry when it turned out that Turkey, although it had declared the intention to fight against terrorism as such, had in mind not only the Islamic State but the Kurdistan Workers’ Party as well and was dealing air strikes against Kurdish positions alone, while ignoring the IS threat. Washington had the suspicion Ankara had hoped to get the United States involved in Turkey’s war against the Kurds. Now Turkey has responded to US claims with a very loud but meaningless statement," Ignatenko said.
"As for linking the air operation against the Islamic State with the future of Syria’s President Bashar Assad, it is one of Ankara’s strongest obsessions. With its intention to launch an air operation Turkey would like to kill three birds - to do away with the Islamic State, with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and with Assad," Ignatenko believes.
"Quite noteworthy is Ankara’s jealousy towards Moscow, which lately turned into a centre of mini-summits, a Mecca for those who are keen to achieve a settlement of the Syrian crisis," Ignatenko said. He recalled that Egypt’s president had visited Moscow for the sake of bringing nearer the solution of that problem and that Russian President Vladimir Putin was holding talks with the King of Jordan and the crown prince of Abu-Dhabi. Earlier, Moscow welcomed the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The leaders of Arab states have been gradually drifting towards accepting the Russian president’s idea of a wide international coalition for struggle against the Islamic State. The mentioned visits are a clear sign the leaders of the Middle East are aware stability in the region will be unachievable without Russia playing a major role."
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