Saturday, August 13, 2016

Putin, Erdogan Have A Deal on Syria

 If you haven't yet read the previous post regarding Israel's disappointment the attempted Turkish overthrow failed, you're going to want to Failed Turkish Coup Attempt- Putting the Turkish/Israeli Detente at Risk?  Definitely ties into this thought provoking op ed on @ Asia Times

"After Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg, Ankara says the next administration in Syria should be inclusive and secular so that everyone can live with their beliefs. This is as close as Turkey has ever come to accept that Assad has a legitimate role to play.

It is the ‘morning-after’ that needs to be watched when a crucial summit meeting takes place. And, as details become available, it emerges that the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan at St. Petersburg on August 9 has been exceptionally productive.
  Neither side showed interest in labeling the qualitatively new level of relationship in hackneyed terms, but then, it doesn’t matter whether one calls it ‘alliance’, ‘quasi-alliance’ or ‘entente’. What matters is that a profoundly meaningful relationship is commencing.
Russia and Turkey go back far in history and do not need foreplay. The critical mass developed within 48 hours of the conversation in St. Petersburg.
Within a day of Erdogan proposing and Putin accepting the idea of a ‘mechanism’ comprising diplomats, military and intelligence officials of the two sides to discuss the nitty-gritty of Syrian conflict, a composite Turkish delegation took off for Moscow to meet Russian counterparts on August 11.

Evidently, Erdogan traveled to St. Petersburg with an ‘action plan’. In fact, he was accompanied by spy chief Hakan Fidan.

Turkey wants the two sides to take concrete steps. The discussions in Moscow are expected to set the ball rolling.
Again, the Russian decision to convert Hmeymim Air Base as a permanent fully-operational military base in Syria has nothing to do with Erdogan’s visit, but also everything to do with the Turkish-Russian rapprochement.
 Does the operational Russian base serve to protect Turkey's border?
The Russian Defense Ministry since disclosed the details of the plan for Hmeymim, which includes expanding aircraft apron, improving the air strip, building barracks and a hospital, assigning extra space for large transport aircraft, installation of new radio equipment including air traffic control systems, creating new sites for deployment of Pantsir surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon systems and so on.

It was in August last year that Russia and Syria signed an agreement allowing Moscow to use Hmeymim for an indefinite period free of charge, but, interestingly, it was on August 9 that an entry in the official data base of Russian Duma showed that Putin has submitted the document for ratification by parliament.

Without doubt, a fully operational base in Hmeymim, which is located virtually on the Turkish border, signifies a major geopolitical decision that factors in the Russian-Turkish rapprochement.

At the talks in St. Petersburg, an exchange took place on Turkey resuming operations in Syrian air space (with a view to attack Islamic State), which were suspended following the shooting down of a Russian jet last November.
It's interesting to consider how beneficial it was to the planned creation of Kurdistan, Israel 2.0, that Turkey was no longer flying in anti-ISIS operations? Was the shootdown of the Russian jet a means to guarantee Turkey couldn't give the game away/interfere with KurdIShIS and the advancement of Kurdistan. There was plenty of talk out of Turkish leadership regarding KurdIShIS being one and the same.  Along with western media lamenting about how Turkey was targeting Kurdish fighters in the guise of fighting ISIS . NATO expressed such disappointment with Turkey over the shootdown- Admonishing Turkey very openly and yet it was obvious NATO was fully involved.
Flashback! : Turkey’s Coup Plotters Outing Themselves including Requesting Asylum in the US!

"Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced on August 10 that Ankara “will again, in an active manner, with its planes take part in operations.”

“Let’s fight against the terrorist group together, so that we can clear it out as soon as possible, Cavusoglu urged. He added, “We will discuss all the details (with Russia). We have always called on Russia to carry out anti-Daesh (IS) operations together.”

In an upbeat note, he pointed out: “Many countries are engaged in Syria actively. There could be mistakes. In order to prevent that, we need to put into practice the solidarity and cooperation (mechanism) between us (Turkey and Russia) including sharing of real-time intelligence.”

A new ‘comfort level’ is apparent in Cavusoglu’s words. At the military and intelligence level, Moscow senses that Turkey has begun rolling back its support for Syrian extremist groups.

On its part, Moscow announced on August 10 that humanitarian corridors leading out of Aleppo will remain open daily for a limited 3-hour period. Put differently, the military operations to capture the city will continue in top gear and remain top priority.

Of course, the whole world knows that the battle for Aleppo will determine the course of the war. Importantly, for Turkey, it is in Aleppo that its intentions toward the Syrian regime will be put to test.

The reports from Tehran, citing military sources, highlight that in the heavy fighting in the western and southern parts of Aleppo, where Saudi-backed rebel groups have launched a massive attack to break the siege, Russian jets are relentlessly bombing locations of  Jeish al-Fatah.

Of course, the bottom line is about the peace process and here the million dollar question concerns the role of President Assad in a political transition.

In a nuanced stance, Cavusoglu said in Ankara on August 11 that Turkey and Russia agree that the next Syrian regime should be all-inclusive. “We think the same as Russia on Syria’s future. The next administration in Syria should be inclusive and cover everyone,” he said, adding it “should be a secular one.”

“We always say only a political solution (in Syria) can be permanent, in terms of not hurting civilians, separating moderate opposition from terrorist groups and (ensuring) humanitarian aid… We are on the same page with Russia that Syria should have an administration under which everyone can live with their beliefs,” he said.

This is as close as Turkey has ever come to accept that Assad has a legitimate role to play. Cavusoglu spoke in full knowledge of Erdogan’s one-on-one with Putin.

As the veteran Middle East hand Robert Fisk wrote, “There is a long list of the potential losers in the theater of St. Petersburg. First, Isis (IS) and al-Qaeda/Nusra/Fatah el-Sham, and all the other Islamist outfits now fighting the regime in Syria, who suddenly find that their most reliable arms conduit has teamed up with their most ferocious enemy… Russian air force. Then there’s the Saudi and Qatari billionaires who have been supplying the cash and guns for the Sunni warriors who are trying to overthrow both Damascus and Baghdad, and humble the Shia of Iran, Syria… and Lebanon”.

Having said that, Moscow and Ankara still have to cover some distance to carry the momentum forward, and it is here that the United States comes in as ‘sleeping partner’. The point is, Erdogan has his ‘red lines’, too – Kurdish issue.

If Erdogan radically downsizes Turkey’s support for extremist groups and keeps a balanced, open mind regarding Assad’s participation in the talks, Moscow (and Tehran) will go the extra mile to help him hold the ‘red lines’ on Kurdistan.
I believe Turkey has already radically downsized support for extremist groups
On the other hand, Syrian Kurds are also on a leash that is held by Uncle Sam and whether he holds it tight or not will depend on a host of considerations that lie in the womb of time.

All in all, Putin played his cards brilliantly by hosting a successful visit by Erdogan, with emphasis on putting the relationship back on track on an upward trajectory. He showed no interest to burden the delicate rapprochement by injecting airy geopolitics into it.

Instead, Putin trained his thoughts on ‘doables’ and ‘deliverables’ – and in reviving cordial personal ties with Edogan. The ‘body language’ was notable.

Moscow understands that the verve and dynamism of the partnership will ultimately depend on how far Russia meets Erdogan’s critical needs, as he charts out independent foreign policies in the downstream of the existential crisis Turkey went through.

Thus, there is a heavy accent on trade and investment and economic cooperation, which make both sides stakeholders.

In political terms, Putin held a strong hand, given Moscow’s decisive role to tip off Ankara about the impending coup of July 15.

But he point-blank refused to anticipate the complex Turkish-American tango, on whose outcome so much depends how comfortable Turkey’s future habitation is going to be within the western alliance system. 
That complex tango can't be fully anticipated
Most certainly, Putin won’t hold grudge against Erdogan if he flaunts the ‘St. Petersburg card’ – in defence of his faith, the throne and the Fatherland – when the US Secretary of State John Kerry visits for the poker game on August 24"


  1. I was so happy to see this and it might be short term but anything that drives Amerikas liberal neo-conns crazy works for me.

    1. snicker on annoying the neo cons
      glad it was good news for you jo

  2. As I drive through the tubes I see the propaganda has started.

  3. I'd trust a coiled King Cobra more than Erdogan. With the Cobra, at least you know his true intent.
    With Erdogan, you don't and Russia better have both eyes open when dealing with that Zionist snake.

    1. Erdogan looks to me to be less zionist and more dead man walking-

      I'm certain they are both keeping their eyes open

  4. This is fantastic!
    I hope Andrew Korybko is right when he lays out Russias position on greater Kurdistan, i.e. very hostile. He also writes that Russia will support Turkey in targeting the Kurds.
    There is no deal to be made between Turkey & the US any longer. Turkey doesn't trust the US & they don't care what they think. That is why Kerry will first visit august 24, had they been allies he would have come 17. July, at the latest.
    Turkey needs to set up a massive bufferzone on the entire Syria border, with 100.000 troops if possible.
    Invade the last ISIS pocket at the border to Aleppo, & ask permission from Iraqs central goverment to target PKK terrorists there. That's the only way this will destroy the Zionist plans.
    But as I wrote somewhere else: Turkey will now be vulnerable to have NATO enforce a R2P regime on it re the Kurds. Very much in the model of Kosovo.

    1. Rescue can you leave a link for Andrew K's piece?

    2. Oh and rescue, indeed, Turkey will be vulnerable and had better be on guard- I see Mr Biden is going to Turkey also...
      The last time he was there he ignored Erdogan and made very nasty remarks towards their NATO ally
      I have a post here on that- it was like he stabbed and turned the knife-
      I'd watch out for Kerry and biden and what comes after

    3. You can find his articles on Katheon & Oriental review. There are many on the Kurdish subject.

      Both Biden & Kerry will behave nicely this time. The US is on the defensive now re Turkey, at least in public.

  5. Kurdish Peshmerga forces backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes launched a fresh attack on ISIL militants in northern Iraq in the early hours of Sunday, as part of a plan to close in on their de facto capital Mosul, a Kurdish official said

    I don't buy the rose-y picture painted by the author of above piece. Erdogan rode into Russia walking about 10 feet above the ground full of himself. A certain amount of humble pie will have to be eaten before Russia gets too chummy.

    example. Tass article states 15 tourism charter companies READY to start doing tours. They have not been released as of yet to do so though.
    Turkey's gravely hit tourist industy isn't the only area Russia can use for leverage either.

    Turkey and Russia do indeed have a long history, most of which was very combative to say the least. IMO

    1. their defacto capital???
      karin I tell you, all the shite I took for calling the PKK terrorists land grabbers!!

      btw: over at Syper, someone actually acknowledged I had been right all along. And was friendly to me too

      It was nice, not necessary, but nice :)
      The evidence was all there to demonstrate clearly the NATO backed Kurdish thugs were exactly what I said they were and doine exactly what I said they were doing

      re: Turkish Russian history- read somewhere they gone back and forth between being enemies and allies for centuries, might have been that fellows site you left the link to?
      john holmes??
      something like that??

    2. Don't worry. The Kurds wont take Mosul now. Iraqs army is there & is far, far stronger than the Kurds who havn't really fought ISIS at all. The shia millitias are there as well, and they can't be controlled. The US will attempt to stear it in the Kurds direction, but it wont work. They needed Iraqs army not to be there, but they are.

    3. Penny, John Helmer

      just saw this and I didn't know you had been shot down at syr per over the kurds. I knew about Moon, but not there. I find it hard to believe (even before I learned that) for some months now that THEY did not see this. THEY that are so very close to the inner workings 'on the ground' in Syria.
      But, I just stopped basically relying on them for information as it no longer seemed valid to me.

    4. hey karin:

      it wasn't ziad at syper's he had a whole pile of commenters that attacked me everytime I left a comment.. I stopped going there- it wasn't worth my time-

      actually ziad did speak of the treacherous kurds more then once- he didn't trust them

      moon of alabama and b- how many times was "syria safe"? according to b?
      He had Turkey invading Syria when they hadn't
      He had Turkey invading Iraq, when they hadn't
      He cheered for the Kurd besties-- most effective fighters against ISIS as if ISIS is anything but a proxy terror army for NATo- same as the kurds
      never touched the remake the middle east agenda
      that I saw-

      the last comment he censored of mind before blocking me was me saying that the US was supplying the PKK to destabilize Turkey- comment didn't get through and I was banned

    5. Rescue I hope the kurds won't take Mosul, but, I have put forth the idea that the US and Kurds will blow the dam (Mosul)and flood the Iraqi army out... along with killing vast swathes of the population

    6. Thats a possibillity, but I believe Iraqs army will take Mosul. Then there will be fighting between Pershmerga and Iraqs army over the land the Kurds have stolen.

  6. Syria: PYD accused of changing demography in Manbij

    they set fire to the civil registry and land registry buildings
    How do people claim they lived or owned land there?
    how convenient !

    1. Hopefully the displaced will have their own legal documents? But that would be unlikely. Since the Kurdish thugs no doubt removed them from their homes..
      with their lives, maybe or not
      but if they left alive they left with nothing
      Ethnic cleansing, people displacing,land grabbing thugs-
      as intended all the way by the US/Israel & company

    2. Theft of a person's identity to me is about as low as someone can get, but I have a feeling the kurds just may show their ability to go as deep as their 'ally' in Middle East.