Russia has given a formal indication that not only it has been green-lighting Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch, but given the circumstances created by the continued US alliance with Kurdish terrorist proxies, is sympathetic to Ankara’s concerns regarding northern Syria. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov has stated,
“Ankara assured us that the efforts made by the Turkish troops do not contradict the work that Turkey is conducting and will continue to conduct in the area of political settlement in Syria… At the same time, the developments of the situation in Afrin, provoked by the actions of the United States among other things, can lead to even greater destabilization in this region.
The interests of the United States and Turkey in the region are increasingly diverging. In fact, the NATO allies have already wound up on opposite sides”.
While these facts are widely known and have been thoroughly discussed in Eurasia Future, for a Russian official to summarise it publicly in such a direct manner, represents a watershed moment wherein statements that were previously reserved for private communiqués are now being offered to the global public.
This comes as Presidents Putin and Erdogan held a positive phone call in which both renewed commitments to the Astana format for Syrian peace. According to the official summary provided by the Russian President’s official website,
“The two presidents continued their discussion on the situation in Syria. Turkey’s leader expressed his condolences to the Russian President on the death of Russian military pilot Roman Filipov, who was piloting a Sukhoi Su-25 on February 3 and was attacked by militants in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
It was agreed to improve coordination of the Russian and Turkish troops and special services against terrorist groups that are violating the ceasefire.
Mr Putin and Mr Erdogan stressed the importance of strict and unfailing adherence to the Astana agreements on de-escalation zones in Syria. They reaffirmed mutual commitment to the political and diplomatic resolution of the crisis based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254, in line with the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, which took place on January 30, 2018 in Sochi.
In this context, the two leaders noted the importance of continuing cooperation between Russia, Turkey and Iran regarding Syria. They discussed future contacts in this format at various levels”.
While there is nothing heterodox about these statements on surface, they serve to clarify several recent events.
Yesterday, the US admitted to firing upon a large group of what it described as “pro-Syrian regime” troops, with early reports suggesting that over 100 had been killed. The slaughter took place east of the Euphrates where the US is illegally occupying Syrian territory. It is thought that among the victims were regular Syrian Arab Army soldiers, making the attack a direct confrontation between the US and Syria.
Furthermore, with the US admitting that Turkish accusations regarding American troops embedded within YPG ranks are true, it will naturally increase Russia’s concerns that the US may fire upon Turkish troops as they continue to inch further into US occupied territory as part of the anti-YPG/PKK Operation Olive Branch. The statements from Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov make it clear that Russia shares Turkey’s concern in this respect.
The abject US war crime against Syrian troops, makes it clear that far from winding down its cooperation with Kurdish terrorists, the US is willing to use them as an excuse to fire on Syrian troops. In the official statement, the US claimed that a so-called SDF base was under threat from Syrian troops – the SDF being the name for Kurdish YPG terrorists and their partners when working with the United States. Any further distinction between the YPG and SDF is a de-facto untruth.
Russia is growing deeply angry with the provocative actions of the US in Syria, having on multiple occasions said that the US presence is a detriment to the peace process and that furthermore, the US has illegal intentions to divide the country. Meanwhile, unlike the US which has openly claimed it seeks to maintain its illegal presence in Syria for the foreseeable future, Turkey has said that it has no intentions to occupy the country after a final peace settlement – something which would be highly costly to the Turkish treasury in any case.
What we are witnessing, is a development whereby Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iran are all speaking in a united voice against the presence of the United States, a presence which is relying increasingly on a human/diplomatic shield of Kurdish terrorists.
With Russia’s close Syrian partners coming under attack from US troops shielding Kurdish YPG units, combined with the likelihood that it was US weapons which shot down a Russian Su-25 jet over Idlib, and with Turkey’s commitment to continue to strengthen the Astana format, the divide between Russia, Turkey, Iran and Syria on one side of the conflict and the US and its Kurdish proxies on the other, is becoming increasingly clear.
Recent statements validate the fact that while the US acts as the official army of universally unwanted Kurdish guerrilla groups, the other major state players in the conflict (with the notable exception of “Israel”) are all speaking in unison against the illegal presence of the US and its guerrilla forces.