The Futility of Russian Deals with Erdogan
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.
They used the demilitarized zone and so-called Turkish observation posts to attack Syrian forces, civilians, and Russia’s Khmeimim airbase in the country.
Four times since August 2016, Turkish forces invaded northern Syrian territory — acts of aggression on the phony pretexts of protecting national security and establishing a safe zone for the country’s refugees Erdogan doesn’t give a hoot about, just himself and his revanchist aims.
Without support from the US, NATO, Turkey, Israel, and the Saudis, Syrian forces would overrun and eliminate jihadists throughout the country, especially with help from Russian airpower to defeat the scourge they represent.
Aheads of Thursday talks with Erdogan in Moscow, Putin said “(w)e always have something to talk about, but now the situation in the Idlib zone has escalated so much that this requires our face-to-face conversation,” adding:
“We must definitely discuss everything, the entire situation we have today, so that similar things never happen again and so that it does not destroy Russian-Turkish relations, which we — and I know that you too — treat carefully and prize highly.”
Whatever both leaders agreed to on Thursday won’t mean a thing as long as Turkish forces continue arming and otherwise supporting jihadists in Syria, along with illegally occupying its territory.
Hopefully Putin demanded these actions end, accepting nothing less, backing his rhetoric by continuing to smash US/Turkish supported al-Nusra and other terrorists in Idlib until the province and all Syrian territory is free from their scourge.
That’s the only way to get Erdogan’s attention. That’s what Russian warplanes have been doing, notably against jihadists when threatening government troops.
In late February at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Sergey Lavrov called agreeing to a truce in Idlib would amount to surrendering to and emboldening jihadist extremism.
The only viable option is eliminating them in Idlib and throughout Syria, Russia’s involvement since September 2015 aiming to achieve this objective.
Moscow and Ankara are on opposite sides of the conflict, nothing likely to change their positions.
Erdogan showing up at the Kremlin hat in hand on Thursday may be to seek a graceful way out of the mess he made, escalation he can’t win as long as Russian support for Syrian forces continues.
On Wednesday ahead of his Thursday meeting with Putin, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov slammed him, saying:
“The fortified areas of the terrorists have merged with the Turkish observation posts deployed under the 2018 Sochi agreement,” adding:
“Attacks and mass artillery fire on neighboring civilian settlements and the Russian airbase at Khmeimim turned from sporadic to daily.”
The US, West, Turkish, and pro-war UN are dismissive about the “humanitarian situation around Idlib,” despite piously pretending otherwise, fooling no one.
“All of Russia’s official requests to the UN and Western countries – who delivered humanitarian aid across the Turkish border and all of it went not to refugees, but to terrorists – remained unanswered.”
“All we heard were the lamentations about the need to ‘preserve the Sochi agreements at all costs.’ ”
Western media pretend cutthroat killer jihadists are “moderates.” All belligerent opposition forces are terrorists.
Establishment media support Erdogan regime aggression in northern Syria, using jihadists as proxy troops, aided by Turkey’s military.
The Trump regime offered to supply Ankara with munitions to kill Syrian forces and civilians, wanting forever war continued — the same policy followed in all US war theaters.
Whatever Putin, Erdogan, and officials of both countries say publicly about what was discussed Thursday, no compromise should be made on defeating the scourge of terrorism and ending US/Turkish occupation of Syrian territory.
Not in Moscow Thursday or anywhere else any time ahead is acceptable.
The only way to approach disease is by treating it to restore wellness.
The only way to deal with a scourge is by smashing it — diplomacy with hostile regimes like the US, Israel and Turkey a waste of time.
A Final Comment
On Thursday, Putin and Erdogan publicly agreed to establish a ceasefire in Idlib province — effective midnight March 6.
A 6-km-wide security corridor will be established along the existing line of contact between Syrian and hostile forces.
Apparently no agreement was reached on ending illegal Turkish occupation of Syrian territory or how the scourge of US/Turkish supported jihadists in Idlib will be eliminated.
Like always before, Russian and Syrian forces can be relied on to fulfill their obligations.
The Erdogan regime is another matter entirely — never to be trusted.
Breaching all previous ceasefire agreements, jihadists it supports continuing conflict as well, more of the same is highly likely ahead — Damascus falsely blamed for their aggression.
The same pattern repeated time again since 2012 peace talks in Geneva.
Is this time different?
Not a chance as long as the Trump, Netanyahu and Erdogan regimes want endless war to advance their imperial aims.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”