by Stephen Lendman
On August 24, Turkish forces allied with US air support and anti-Assad terrorist fighters invaded Syria lawlessly – naked aggression by any standard on the phony pretext of combating ISIS, Ankara’s ally, and establishing border security.
Erdogan upped the stakes, making conflict resolution harder to achieve than already. He wants northern Syria annexed, along with Kurdish YPG fighters eliminated from territory he seized, while falsely claiming his mission seeks to establish a safe zone for Syrian civilians – desperate people he continues arming ISIS and other terrorists to massacre.
On September 8, he called his operation successful, “chang(ing) the world’s view of the region,” claiming it’s “no longer possible to implement any scenario in the region that does not include Turkey or…have (its) consent.”
He intends continuing northern Syrian operations indefinitely, saying “(t)here is no need to reveal (how long), but we have our plan to” achieve objectives he seeks, claiming it’s to secure Turkey’s borders – easily accomplished by closing them, left open and porous to let ISIS and other terrorist fighters move freely through them.
He lied, saying he wants area he lawlessly seized turned into a “peace corridor.” He lied, claiming he has “no eye on taking any of Syria’s territory.
He lied saying invading Syria was OK because its people invited him. He lied claiming no permission is needed to operate freely inside its territory.
He called expanding his aggression along established fronts “a matter of faith…From now on, we have to show that we exist in the region,” he blustered.
Following the G-20 meeting in China days earlier, he said “we don’t have any option to step back at this point.”
Russia so far was publicly quiet about his aggression. Private bilateral discussions may be entirely different – suggested by September 7 Russian Foreign Ministry comments, much blunter than earlier, “express(ing) serious concern in connection with the movement of the Syrian troops and paramilitary formations of the Syrian opposition, supported by them, inside Syrian territory.”
“We are paying attention to the fact that these actions are being conducted without coordination with the legitimate Syrian authorities and without approval on the part of the UN Security Council.”
“This (jeopardizes) the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.” Russia sides with Damascus’ condemnation of Turkish aggression.
Its actions further “complicate” already untenable conditions, putting conflict resolution further out of reach and preventing humanitarian aid from reaching desperate civilians in areas Ankara seized.
Moscow clearly wants Turkish operations ended, its troops withdraw behind its own borders, as well as joint Syrian/Russian anti-terrorist efforts left unobstructed by Erdogan’s aggression and illegal occupation of territory bordering his country.
He and terrorists he supports control a 90-km line from Azaz to Jarabulus around 4 – 5 km deep – his forces expanding it to include additional territory.
How Russia intends dealing with what’s ongoing remains to be seen – so far apparently only with behind-the-scenes diplomatic discussions.
They accomplished nothing so far based on Erdogan’s above comments and Turkish troops continuing to seize more Syrian territory – likely with full US support and encouragement despite public comments otherwise.