By James The Russian Analyst
Since the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been pivoting the once staunch NATO allied country toward its neighbors Russia and Iran. However, there are inherent tensions between the Turks illegal under international law de facto zone of occupation in northern Syria and Moscow’s client in Damascus. Yet it appears that it’s the Trump Administration, seeking ‘leverage’ on behalf of its Israeli and Saudi allies through proxy forces building in Syria, that’s forcing Erdogan to finally put his cards on the table against NATO.
The Assad government wants the Turks out of their country, but Damascus and its Russian patrons desire a Kurdish state backed by the Americans — who cannot be easily dislodged without risking a much larger conflict — even less. Now with Washington declaring a 30,000 strong ‘border security force’ aka an American occupation supporting proxy army led by Ankara’s YPG Kurdish enemy, the Turks are indicating forceful action, through shelling Afrin. The rumors (which are being spread by pro-Russian sites like Southfront) that the U.S. is supplying the Kurds with MANPADs capable of shooting down Turkish helicopters and or lower flying jets may prove the last straw for Erdogan.
Putin: Drone Swarm Attack Launched Against Khmeimim from Turkish Deconfliction (Occupation) Zone in Syria Was Intended to Drive a Wedge Between Moscow and Ankara
Before we forecast what’s about to happen in Syria, it’s important to note what President Vladimir Putin said in his remarks hosted by the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid to Russian journalists and editors several days ago. The Russian leader referred to ‘our Turkish partners’ and said provocateurs had infiltrated territory controlled by the Turks under the deconfliction zones agreements reached in Astana, Kazakhstan. Putin declared that ‘we know who they are’ and how much the drone unleashing terrorists had been paid and by whom. He clearly meant that it was not the Turks, but another government seeking to stoke tensions between Moscow and Ankara that assisted with the drone attack on Russia’s main air base in Syria. Putin said “someone is trying to destroy” Moscow’s improving ties with not only the Turks, but Russian facilitating of warming Turkish relations with the Iranians. That means Putin is all but pointing the finger at the US and Israel.