Putin Seeks Normalized Ties with Turkey Despite Erdogan’s Syria Aggression
by Stephen Lendman
After Turkey downed a Russian warplane in Syrian airspace last November, Putin justifiably accused Erdogan of backstabbing him.
He did it again by invading northern Syria on August 24 – on the phony pretext of securing Turkey’s border and combating ISIS he supports. Naked aggression makes borders and areas affected less secure, not safer.
Erdogan shamelessly claimed he “liberated” 400 square miles of northern Syria. It’s illegally occupied foreign territory, the world community addressing what’s happening solely with meaningless rhetoric – effectively permitting what’s going on, Washington blessing it while pretending otherwise.
Things are worsening, not improving. Backed by artillery fire, Turkish tanks, armored vehicles, combat troops and terrorist fighters (supported by Ankara) entered northern Aleppo province, seeking greater control over Syrian territory with annexation in mind – along with waging war on Kurdish YPG forces.
Washington abandoned its Kurdish ally of convenience to mend ties with Ankara, aiding its naked aggression with air cover, aiming to keep Turkey firmly allied with Western interests, hoping to prevent Erdogan/Putin rapprochement detrimental to US interests.
Turkish sources lied, claiming the ongoing offensive is defensive with no intention of permanent occupation. It began on the eve of Erdogan’s planned meetings with Obama and Putin at the G-20 summit in Hangzhou, China.
How far he intends expanding his aggression remains to be seen. He and Putin discussed full restoration of bilateral relations, ahead of their meeting Russia’s leader saying:
“I’m glad to have a chance to meet and discuss the implementation of our agreements reached (in) St. Petersburg. Of course, a lot more needs to be done to restore the full-fledged cooperation in all areas. We will talk about this once again today.”
Ahead of the G-20 summit, Sergey Lavrov discussed Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria by phone with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.
A Russian Foreign Ministry statement sounded dismissive, saying “(t)he Russian side expressed concern over the actions of Turkey’s Armed Forces and Ankara-controlled opposition detachments in the northern part of the country, over their consequences for the process of the Syrian conflict settlement.”
If Russia, America and other Security Council members don’t intervene responsibly, Erdogan seems likely to grab as much northern Syrian territory as possible.
Escalated war makes peace prospects more unattainable than already. Conflict seems headed toward exploding once Hillary succeeds Obama next year.
Will US preemptive war on Russia follow with her as US president, perhaps with nuclear weapons? Will the unthinkable become reality?
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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