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Erdoğan-Putin summit: A difficult decision for NE Syria

14 12 0
22.10.2019

Turkey has faced difficulties due to the northern Syria operation launched on Oct. 9. After reaching a deal with the U.S., Turkey now needs the approval of Russia for its road map. Turkish President Erdoğan is meeting his counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi today to discuss the situation and agreement with the US. Both parties need to pay attention to the context of Russia-Turkey relations when deciding on the future of northern Syria.

Russia and Syria have had historical relations since the 1950s. However, Moscow had initially chosen to stay away from getting directly involved; this had little popular support within Russia. After the Ukrainian crises and sanctions imposed by the West, Russia intervened in Syria following a formal request by the the Bashar al-Assad government in Damascus. Russian strategists initially chose to confine their involvement in Syria to airstrikes, mostly concentrated in areas critical to the survival of the Assad regime in western and northwestern Syria. The aim of Russian involvement had military goals just as it was psychological and political as well. Russia intends to take away the hopes of the opposition and enforce direct talks with the Assad regime. Furthermore, Russia aims to persuade Washington and its regional allies to agree with a Russian negotiation process without any preconditions.

After four years of Russian intervention, it seems that Moscow has reached most of its short- and medium-term targets. In February 2017, Russia and the U.S. coordinated a ceasefire agreement between the Assad regime and its........

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