Russian/Turkish Agreement on Northern Syria

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Russian/Turkish Agreement on Northern Syria

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

When deals are struck, the devil is in the details, along with implementation of what was agreed on by all parties involved.

The historical record is clear. The US, West and Israel can never be trusted. The Russian Federation operates by a higher standard. Its word is its bond, not so for Turkey, especially under lawbreaker/terrorist supporter/human rights abuser Erdogan.

He allied with US aggression on Syria for regime change, three times invaded its territory illegally, his latest aggression begun October 9 — the highest of high crimes, his forces using banned weapons, killing civilians indiscriminately. 

Domestically he banned speech, media and academic freedoms, imprisoning or otherwise eliminating critics, including children — what tyranny is all about.

Throughout US-led war on Syria, he called for toppling overwhelmingly popular Bashar al-Assad, wants northern Syrian territory annexed, especially its oil-producing areas.

He supports ISIS, al-Nusra, and other terrorists, earlier conspired with the Islamic State to steal Syrian oil, currently using jihadists as proxy forces in his ongoing aggression and occupation of northern Syrian territory.

On Tuesday, Assad denounced him as a “thief,” adding: “He has stolen factories, wheat, oil in cooperation with Daesh (ISIS), and today, he steals territory.”

He’s an “actor” in cahoots with US-led aggression. “The latest of the plays is that he says they have decided to enter Syria. Well, for nine years, he has been trying to enter, but he was not allowed.” 

“He said he has notified the Americans that he will enter. You mean you told the Americans?”

“What happened, happened. Despite all the bravado (about Kurdish fighters) that we have heard through the years, that they will fight and whatnot, the Turks have occupied most of the region in just four days, which the Americans have planned.”

Syrian officials earlier warned the Kurds against cooperating with the US, Assad explained. “We repeated it,” he stressed, adding: “The Americans will sell you out one day” — precisely what happened.

Syria’s priority is “defending against (US-led NATO/Turkish) aggression,” all parts of the country of equal value, he stressed.

Turkish and proxy forces captured and control over 100 northern Syrian villages, along with the border towns of Ras al-Ain and Tel Abyad.

According to observers on the ground, his forces looted homes, shops, and other businesses, along with wheat and barley silos.

Assad vowed to liberate all areas of Syria controlled by US/Turkish-supported terrorists and illegally occupied by Pentagon and Turkish forces.

On Tuesday in Sochi, Russia, Vladimir Putin met with Erdogan on Syria. The Turkish regime communications director Fahrettin Altun claimed an agreement was reached to respect “Syria’s territorial integrity and political unity.”

Erdogan said remaining Kurdish fighters “must leave (a) 30-km zone…150 hours” from Wednesday (after which) Turkey and Russia will begin joint patrolling of the area to the east and to the west of” Syrian territory Turkish forces invaded (except the border city of Qamishli in Hasakah province), adding:

Joint patrols will be carried out within a 10-km area from Turkey’s border. According to Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, “additional troops (and) equipment will be needed for patrolling since the border is rather extensive and the patrolling should be serious and substantial so that we could avert any serious incidents. Especially since the patrolling will be carried out jointly.”

Sergey Lavrov said Turkey’s cross-border “operation is coming to an end. Now everything will depend on whether the agreements will be adhered to, namely regarding the disengagement of forces and equipment, and the withdrawal of Kurdish military formations,” adding:

“We do not particularly look at the United States and its stance. That stance is quite variable and contradictory, and of course, the coalition led by the United States is in Syria illegally. This is well known.”

Erdogan’s cross-border aggression has nothing to do with combatting terrorists, nothing to do with Turkish security, nothing to do with helping Syrian refugees, everything to do with his revanchist aims.

It’s unclear how Putin handled these and related issues during talks with Erdogan on Tuesday.

Both leaders agreed to respect the 1998 Ankara/Damascus Adana Interstate Agreement on Combating Terrorism — vowing to prevent terrorists in Syria from threatening Turkey.

RT reported that “Russian military police and Syrian servicemen will be deployed to northeastern Syria, while Turkey’s operation ‘Peace Spring’ will continue in a limited area,” as agreed to by Putin and Erdogan.

On October 9, Erdogan’s cross-border aggression began. He and Putin agreed on letting Turkish forces “temporarily” conduct so-called “counter-terrorism” operations in northern Syria.

At the same time, Russia’s president said unlawfully deployed foreign forces in Syria must leave. Claiming Erdogan shares this view is unsupported by reality on the ground.

Putin also urged Syrian and Kurdish officials to reach accommodation on issues where they differ to help restore peace and stability to the country.

Following talks with Erdogan, he briefed Syria’s Assad on what was discussed, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, indicating he and Putin concurred on what was agreed on in Sochi.

Russia is an invaluable Syrian ally, the US, NATO, and Israel its mortal enemies.

Erdogan can never be trusted. It remains to be seen whether what was agreed on in Sochi sticks.

Given longstanding US hegemonic aims for regional control, resolution of years of conflict and chaos is far from achieved.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.