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Syria truce plan crushes Turkish president’s aggressive intentions

February 25, 21:09 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
© EPA/GREGOR FISCHER

MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. The Turkish president’s harsh criticism of the Syria ceasefire plan agreed by the Russian and US leaders suggests Ankara’s crushed intentions of suppressing the movement of Syrian Kurds and gaining control of the territories they populate, experts polled by TASS said on Thursday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a live broadcast of Turkey’s national television on Wednesday that the Syria truce deal was a "dishonest" step as it ignored Ankara’s position.

Erdogan accused Western countries, as well as Russia and Iran, of promoting their own interests in Syria, from which Syrian President Bashar Assad stood to gain most of all. The Turkish president accused Syrian Kurds of strong ties with and arms deliveries to the Kurdish Workers’ Party declared as a terrorist organization in Turkey. He once again urged Washington to decide who its allies were: Turkey or Syrian Kurds who, as he put it, should be declared a terrorist grouping and withdrawn from the ceasefire regime along with Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra militants.

Meanwhile, both Moscow and Washington are providing support to Syrian Kurds’ militia fighters who are really fighting against Islamic State terrorists.

President of the International Center for Geopolitical Problems, Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov said Erdogan’s negative reaction to the Syria truce plan could be explained by a wreck of all his intentions in that Arab republic.

"Contrary to Erdogan’s wish, Bashar Assad remains the president. Erdogan’s plans to make Syria its satellite and take away its northern territories by installing its proxy rulers there have failed. Ankara’s intentions to rout Syrian Kurds have not crowned with success either. Huge money injected by Erdogan in supporting Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra militants has been spent uselessly. That is, Turkey is losing everything," Ivashov told TASS.

"This is ruining the concept of creating a group of friendly states on Turkey’s borders. Turkey, which has found fault with Brussels, Iran, Russia and now with the United States and has exacerbated the Kurdish problem, has turned into an embittered lone state," the military expert said.

In the opinion of Leading Researcher with the Center of International Security at the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences Stanislav Ivanov, Erdogan feels that his plans to overthrow Bashar Assad and capture Damascus and Aleppo are clearly crumbling.

"Quite recently, Erdogan was counting months and days remaining before establishing full control of the Syrian-Turkish border and the adjacent areas. But then the anti-terror operation of the Russian and Syrian Aerospace Forces began. This was the first blow for Erdogan, to which he responded with an attack against a Russian Su-24 combat plane. The offensive of Assad’s army and Syrian Kurds on Aleppo became the second serious blow for the Turkish president, which crushed his plans of an armed intervention into Syria," Ivanov told TASS.

As a result, Erdogan has lost control even over those border sections, from which he intended to set up a buffer zone on the Syrian territory populated by Turkmen. In desperation, the Turkish side started artillery shelling of the Syrian Kurds’ positions, the expert said.

Then came a third blow against Ankara - the truce agreed by the Russian and US presidents from midnight of February 27 at least among the basic and sane parties to the Syrian crisis, he added.

"The contacts at the highest level between Moscow and Washington have caused a fit of Erdogan’s rage. He believes that Russia and Turkey’s ally - the United States - intend to open a ‘security umbrella’ over the positions of Syrian Kurds. Thus, Turkey’s presence in Syria will be brought to naught and Erdogan will have nothing to tell his electors in his defense," the expert said.

In the expert’s opinion, Ankara will be obstructing the implementation of the truce plan in Syria.

"I assume that the Turkish side will start to take attempts to infiltrate armed Turkmen into the territory of Syria together with militants from the Grey Wolves nationalist organization disguised as special forces for organizing provocations and terrorist acts in order to disrupt the ceasefire regime. But things won’t go as far as a full-fledged ground operation of Turkey and Saudi Arabia in Syria," Ivanov said.

In the expert’s opinion, such an unpredictable leader as Erdogan won’t dare to start an armed intervention into Syria without the approval of the US-led coalition and a UN Security Council resolution. Saudi Arabia, which has bogged down in the war in Yemen, won’t start a second ground operation either.

"Belligerent statements by Ankara and Riyadh are a retreating moment to save their face and a blackmail of Syrian Kurds," the expert said.

"The main thing at the current stage is that the West and Russia have managed to coordinate their plans for the peaceful solution of the Syrian crisis. Now all the efforts, contrary to Ankara’s hysteria, should be focused on implementing the ceasefire regime," the expert said.

TASS may not share the opinions of its contributors