Trump and Erdogan Regimes Frantic Over Syrian and Russian Forces Smashing Jihadists They Support
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Erdogan has a trusted ally in Russia, polar opposite his uneasy relations with Washington.
Is he willing to risk rupturing ties to Moscow in pursuit of cross-border aggression against sovereign Syria he can't win, including by continued support for jihadists he falsely claims to oppose?
On Wednesday during a Security Council session on Syria, Trump regime UN envoy Kelly Craft, wife of billionaire coal-mining tycoon/large GOP donor Joseph Craft with close White House ties, said the US "will continue to coordinate with Turkey on diplomatic approaches to restore a ceasefire to the Idlib de-escalation zone and achieve a pullback of (Syrian) forces to 2018 Sochi ceasefire (sic), adding:
"There is no doubt that (Syria) and Russia, not Turkey, are responsible for orchestrating and executing this military offensive (sic)."
Fact: Craft was silent on Obama regime aggression in Syria, escalated by Trump.
Fact: She ignored support for ISIS, al-Nusra, and likeminded jihadists by the US, NATO, Turkey, Israel and the Saudis.
Fact: She said nothing about illegal US/Turkish occupation of Syrian territory, a flagrant UN Charter breach.
Fact: She falsely blamed Syria for high crimes of war and against humanity committed by the US, its imperial partners, and terrorist proxies against the nation and its people.
Fact: She opposes Syria's liberating struggle, what the vast majority of its people support.
Fact: She and Trump regime hardliners want Assad toppled, pro-Western puppet rule replacing him.
Aided by Russian airpower, Syrian forces continue advancing in Idlib and surrounding areas.
They're winning. The US and Erdogan regime are losing, his revanchist aims doomed to fail.
Syria won't sacrifice any of its sovereign territory to foreign occupiers operating unlawfully in the country, its position supported by Russia.
Half a dozen or more so-called Turkish observation posts in Syria with no legitimacy are surrounded by Syrian forces.
Perhaps they'll all be surrounded in the coming days, cutting off their supply lines.
Erdogan has a choice. Wage war on Syria and sustain heavy losses given Russian and Syrian airspace control over territory he seeks to control.
A less risky option is conducting low-level warfare, skirmishes with Syrian forces, achieving nothing while incurring minimal losses.
Or he can cut his losses and focus on internal affairs, especially Turkey's weak economy.
Attacks on Syrian forces will be responded to appropriately.
While Russia clearly wants no military confrontation between Turkish and Syrian forces, its Defense Ministry delivered a message to Erdogan he understood.
According to Tass on Wednesday, "(t)wo Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bombers performed a scheduled flight over the neutral waters of the Black Sea."
In flight for over five hours, covering about 4,500 km, they were accompanied by Russian fighter planes, a show of power.
The Tupolev aircraft are armed with long-range missiles able hit targets with pinpoint accuracy Turkey can't match "in strict compliance with the International Rules of Using the Airspace," the ministry added.
On Wednesday, the Middle East Eye (MEE) stressed what's been clear for some time.
Syria is committed to liberating all its territory from foreign occupation and anti-government jihadists.
Key is that Russia is aiding its military achieve this goal. It's slow going. Yet steady progress is being made, especially in recent weeks.
US/Turkish supported jihadists are on their back foot. So is the Erdogan regime in Syria.
It's unclear what geopolitical know-nothing Trump will let hardliners infesting his regime manipulate him to do next.
MEE called advancing Syrian forces in Idlib and surrounding areas "a disaster for Turkey."
Jihadists supported by the Erdogan and Trump regimes are being "rapidly overrun."
Government forces have no intention of withdrawing from liberated areas. Long-suffering Syrians welcomed them, their reaction whenever freed from jihadist control.
Despite Erdogan's bluster for internal consumption, he and regime officials stressed that disagreeing with Russia over Idlib won't undermine bilateral relations.
Moscow is a valued ally, especially because of Ankara's uneasy relations with the US.
Amicable Russian/Turkish ties are far more strategically important to Erdogan than pursuing aggression in northern Syria for territory he might only hold onto short-term if at all if counterattacked by Syrian forces.
Assad is committed to "liberate every inch of territory from (US, NATO, Turkish supported) terrorists" — a statement he made last summer while receiving a Russian delegation.
Headed by Russian State Duma lawmaker Dmitry Sablin, he congratulated Assad on advances by his military at the time, actively supported by Moscow throughout the war.
Erdogan's best option is backing off from his belligerent threats and saving his relationship with Russia that's too valuable to lose or weaken.
A Final Comment
According to Turkey's Foreign Ministry, a trilateral summit is being planned by Moscow, Iran and Ankara to discuss the ongoing Syria conflict, a date to be announced when it's set.
Despite deploying large numbers of Turkish troops and weapons along the border with Syria, large-scale Erdogan regime aggression is highly unlikely ahead of an upcoming trilateral diplomatic initiative.
On Thursday, Turkish foreign minister Cavusoglu said some agreement with Russia was achieved that's short of what he called the "desired point," bilateral differences remaining.
The above developments are encouraging, Erdogan appearing to backtrack on his belligerent rhetoric at least somewhat.
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