Erdogan’s Self-Defeating Hegemony
Erdogan is his own worst enemy. He managed to alienate his most valued allies by hostile actions domestically and abroad.
He angered the Trump regime by buying superior Russian S-400 air defense missiles over the inferior US Patriot system — a wise move.
He angered European countries by opening Turkish borders to let thousands of refugees head for the continent, threatening that their numbers “will soon be in the millions” — a failed blackmail attempt to get NATO support for his Syria aggression.
He alienated Germany’s Angela Merkel by accusing her of behaving like a Nazi.
He proved untrustworthy to Russia and Iran by flagrantly breaching his agreed on Astana and Sochi commitments to work for resolving endless war in Syria diplomatically — along with combatting the scourge of terrorism in the country he supports.
His multiple cross-border incursions in Syria were and remain all about fulfilling his neo-Ottoman ambitions — Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch, and Peace Spring, naked aggression by other names.
He largely isolated himself on the world stage — while risking loss of support at home because of ruthlessly wanting invented enemies eliminated.
As long as Russia supports Syria’s liberating struggle against terrorists Erdogan and West back, his cross-border aggression is doomed to fail.
Moscow said it won’t guarantee safety for his hostile warplanes and drones in Syrian airspace.
Damascus said they’ll be downed by the country’s air defense system. The Pentagon and NATO declined to aid Erdogan’s aggression in Idlib.
Russia is resupplying Syria with heavy weapons — by air transport and naval vessels heading for Tartous on the Mediterranean coast, one of two Syrian port cities where Moscow has a naval facility, Latakia the other.
According to Russia’s reconciliation center in Syria, Turkish reports of government forces “neutralized” and weapons destroyed in large numbers are greatly exaggerated, a statement saying:
“Such statements about ‘the shelling attacks’ on the Syrian government troops by the Turkish armed forces and, all the more so, about casualties among Syrian servicemen as a result of them, have nothing to do with reality,” adding:
These unacceptable remarks escalate conflict Moscow is going all out to resolve, wanting Turkish help, not getting it.
Erdogan and Turkey’s war ministry, along with jihadists his regime supports, bear full responsibility for propaganda and hot war in Idlib province.
On March 5, Erdogan will meet with Putin in Moscow. He’ll arrive weakened for lack of international support, Russia largely able to dictate terms if another deal is agreed on.
Given how Erdogan operated throughout the war, fulfilling it is another matter entirely, Putin knowing he can’t be trusted.
He continues supporting al-Nusra and likeminded terrorists in Idlib, providing them with weapons, along with artillery and to a limited degree aerial support — the latter diminished by multiple downings of Turkish attack drones in Idlib airspace.
At the same time, Russian aerial support helped Syrian ground forces retake the strategic town of Saraqib.
According to the Syrian Arab News Agency on Tuesday, government forces “eliminate(d) Turkish regime-backed terrorist groups in villages and towns of Joubas, Trinbeh, Dadikh, and Kafr Batikh in…Idlib southeastern countryside.”
On Monday, a Kremlin statement said it’s clear to Erdogan, the US and NATO that Russia will continue to support Syria’s war against terrorism that the West, Turkey, Israel and the Saudis support.
A Syrian Foreign Ministry statement condemned Turkish aggression, vowing to combat and defeat it.
Last week, a Times of London opinion piace said “(a)fter years of alienating his allies, Erdogan has no one to turn to.”
Instead of pursuing cooperative relations with neighboring Syria and other nations, he’s been confrontational and hostile to regional peace.
Whatever comes out of Erdogan’s trip to Moscow this week, war in Syria won’t end because of his revanchist aims and US rejection of conflict resolution.
In 2019, an Algemeiner open letter to “Turkish despot Erdogan” accused him of solidifying power to advance his hostile agenda, aiming to become a “new Ataturk” by enforcing hardline extrajudicial rule, including elimination of his enemies at home and abroad.
Governing like a tinpot despot domestically, he waged undeclared war on Syria for the past nine years to advance his revanchist aims, inventing reasons to pursue his agenda.
Neighboring states don’t trust him. Nor do Russia and the West. His neo-Ottoman aims are delusional.
As long as he remains Turkey’s leader and operates extrajudicially, the country will be regarded as an outlaw state by the world community.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”