The Futility of Russian Deals with Erdogan by Stephen Lendman

The US, Israeli, and Turkish regime under Erdogan can never be trusted.

Time and again they agree to one thing, then go another way — falsely blaming others for their bad faith.

Numerous times before in Astana and Sochi, Erdogan agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib province Syria, free from jihadists.

Russia fulfilled its obligations. So did Syria, not Turkey by continuing to arm and otherwise support al-Nusra and likeminded terrorists in the province, along with giving them safe haven in Turkish territory.

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3 thoughts on “The Futility of Russian Deals with Erdogan by Stephen Lendman

  1. Idlib – it’s a bit more complicated

    When Erdogan saw his Islamist proxies collapse under the well planned and executed offensive “Idlib dawn” of the Syrian army, he sent Turkish armed forces into Syria to stop the Syrian advance. The Turkish military is still strong despite a painful purge of Gulenist and Kemalist officers after the coup in 2016.

    Turkish society is nationalistic, the military is the nations pride, only the most talented students with the best grades are accepted as cadets. Turkish industry is geared towards weapons production even more than US industry, and the population unequivocally accepts the high price of maintaining a 600,000 strong force.

    The Turks also wanted to show off their indigenous drones, which they developed after Israel and the USA declined to provide advanced drones.

    Turkey inflicted heavy casualties on the Syrians and stopped their offensive. After a Turkish headquarter was bombed with some 34 to 36 killed troops Turkey increased the military pressure, shooting down Syrian planes (2 Su-24 and one L-39) and bombing everything what moved inside Syrian newly conquered areas of Idlib. The Syrians were helpless because their tactics were based on the assumption of Russian and Syrian air supremacy over Idlib.
    Turkey claims that it has killed more than 3,000 soldiers, which is exaggerated, but even pro-government sources concede that more than 1,000 soldiers died, many of them from the elite “Tiger Forces.”

    While Erdogan vowed to wipe out the Syrian military and apparently was quite successful in doing it, Russia stood by and only after a week stepped in to provide anti-aircraft assistance and shoot down Turkish drones.

    Everybody thought that Russia had sold out Syria to appease Erdogan, but then Erdogan travelled to Moscow and after a 5 hour meeting a ceasefire and a deal with very favorable conditions for Syria (M5 highway under Syrian control and M4 highway opened with a 6 km buffer Zone on both sides) were announced.

    Nobody had expected that Putin could pull that off, but in retrospective it was the only possible outcome, everything else would have been a complete disaster. Erdogan’s position was not as strong as his fiery rhetoric suggested, he had shown that Turkey’s military is strong, but Putin also had shown him the military’s vulnerabilities and limits.

    On the high of the crisis Erdogan begged US/NATO for assistance (Patriot missiles, intelligence, a NATO no-fly-zone over Idlib), but was rebuffed. Western public hates Turkey because of the refugees, the Kurds, and Turkish support for Islamic terrorists. No Western politician can afford to provide more than lukewarm expressions of sympathy for Turkey’s case.

    So Erdogan was left on his own again. He had pushed in every direction, hoping that at least one of his moves would produce results, though in reality, he just maneuvered himself into a corner. In this 5 hour meeting with Putin, the only world leader whom he respects and with whom he has some kind of understanding, Putin showed him a way out of the quagmire.

    It’s even more complicated than that, I think, I will have to write a blog post about it.

  2. Pingback: The Futility of Russian Deals with Erdogan by Stephen Lendman — Piazza della Carina – The Critical Thinking Times

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