UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Under the headline above, Yevgeny Krotikov wrote, in Fazglad, that Turkey had to agree with Damascus to legitimize the presence of its troops in the so-called buffer zone inside Syrian territory.
“The initial results of the operation of Turkish forces in northern Syria can be summarized by Ankara’s failure to achieve its military and political objectives.” Erdogan’s biggest disappointment is that his rival Bashar al-Assad is winning.
The Turks initially determined for themselves the task of occupying a 30-kilometer bar, then clearing this land. But it is now clear that things are not going that way. The political objective of the operation, the establishment of a buffer zone along the Turkish-Syrian border, is no longer achievable.
The rapid flight of Americans from all positions in Manbij and Kobani led to the rapid advancement of Syrian government units with the support of the Russian group. Damascus, without a fight, controls two large sections of the border with Turkey while preserving the Kurdish population there. On the other hand, the Turks dominate rural areas to the east, which cannot be considered an equal exchange.
If the Turks were able to control a 30-kilometer-deep area and clear it of Kurdish-speaking people, they could stay there for a long time. This, in turn, would have seriously undermined the prospect of a peaceful settlement in Syria.
Now it is possible to negotiate the time limits for the Turkish forces to remain in Syrian territory and their missions, and then demand their withdrawal from there. In theory, the Turks could set up several military bases or sites; however, it is no longer possible to talk of any actual occupation of part of Syrian territory.
Ironically, Ankara now has an interest in restoring diplomatic relations with Damascus in an attempt to institutionalize its 30-kilometer-long stay in Syrian territory. Current communications via intelligence are effective, but have no legal force.
The interior of Turkey can be rid of attacks by PKK militants only by stabilizing the situation for a long time, not by biting off part of Syria with its Kurdish anti-Ankara population. I think Ankara knows that.
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