US erodes Turkey-Russia Axis in Syria

Source:Newsclick Date:19Jan2019

While the tone of the article somewhat controversial, the authors observations are to the  point and cover veyr well the interconnection between Syria and the major decision Ankara has to reach soon:  Go with Russia, or back to US?


Fault lines have appeared (in Turkey-Russia Axis). Russia has underscored that the areas vacated by the US should come under the control of Syrian government. In fact, Moscow is actively mediating between Damascus and the Kurds on this issue. (Kurds also reject any Turkish military presence in northern Syria.)

Moscow and Damascus altogether reject the notion of a “safe zone” under control of foreign powers on Syrian territory. They also demand an unconditional and total US withdrawal from Syria. Furthermore, they urge Turkey that the priority today is to clear the northwestern Idlib province of extremist groups. In an assessment by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Turkey not only failed to fulfill its commitments in this regard but couldn’t prevent around 70 percent of Idlib falling under control of al-Qaeda affiliates, who have now begun to threaten Russian and Syrian forces in nearby regions. But the security situation Idlib has become a low priority for Turkey, since the extremist groups in that province are largely its proxies.