Buffer zone in North-East Syria: What does it exactly mean?
Source:Ahval News Date:22Jan2019
An Erdogan-Trump phone exchange heralded the agreement on the establishment of a buffer zone at the Turkish border. This has helped markets and raised hopes in Turkey that economic relations, too, could improve, while the OPKK menace hiding within Syrian Kurdish entity PYD-YPG will be kept away from the borders. But, American have been vague about the details of their proposal, while each actor on the scene, from SDF to Turkey has a different interpretation. We present two articles shedding some light on the detail.
Contrary to the conclusions of both, we consider a buffer zone controlled by Turkish military workable, because the alternative of Assad’s forces occupying Turkey’s borders are causes belli for Turkey. Despite its significant success in terms of delaying an Assad victory and maneuvering major actors like US and Russia in the direction of its aims, it is startling to read that most commentators consider Ankara a passive actor, resigned to play the role assigned to it by the majors. Ankara has vital interests in Syria and the wherewithal to secure them, in addition to the flexibility of switching between US and Russia, a point which fails most observers.