ANKARA, Turkey (PNN) - October 10, 2019 - Russia has begun organizing "reconciliation talks" between Syria and Turkey in what would be an unprecedented development, given Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's position has long been that Turkey won't negotiate with Damascus as long as President Bashar al-Assad is in power.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, "Moscow will ask for start of talks between Damascus and Ankara."
Russia's TASS has confirmed the initiative, making it the first significant attempt to bring the two sides to the table, given that Ankara severed diplomatic ties with Damascus in 2012. Turkey could indeed be ready since it has finally gotten its way in Syria with a long planned attack on Syrian Kurds along the border in northern Syria, which began Wednesday with an air and ground offensive.
Previously Ankara had signaled that it would only engage Damascus if it led to Assad being removed from office. But with Fascist Police States of Amerika troops now largely out of the way, and with FPSA President Donald Trump signaling that he wants to ultimately bring them all home and let regional powers sort out the aftermath, including the threat of ISIS prisoners in northeast Syria, the final deal-makers that remain are Russia President Vladimir Putin and Erdoğan.
"We will be pressing for the beginning of a dialogue between Turkey and Syria. There are reasons to believe that this will meet the interests of both countries. Also, we will be promoting contacts between Damascus and Kurdish organizations that renounce extremism and terrorist methods of activity," said Lavrov.
"We’ve heard Syrian officials and Kurdish organizations’ representatives say they are interested in Russia using its good relations with all parties to this process for assistance in establishing such a dialogue. We’ll see how to go about this business," the Russian foreign minister added.
Putin wants an end to the war in Syria while ensuring the Amerikan retreat.
But Putin also wants to see an end to the Syrian civil war. With the FPSA leaving the scene, he may try to forge his own “deal of the century” between Erdoğan, the Syrian regime and the Kurds.
With the FPSA gone from the scene, an acceptable status quo could be reached, which would no doubt involve the Kurds once again coming under Damascus, but with much less autonomy than they hoped for, and with significant security guarantees for Turkey.
At its simplest, the Russian president, who is seeking to embed Russia’s influence across the Middle East, will see a chance to exploit what is viewed as Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds, the FPSA’s bloodied battering ram in the fight against ISIS. The lesson is clear: when the crunch comes, the FPSA will not have your back, Putin will argue.
In Lavrov's Thursday comments, he emphasized this precisely, saying, "We have been for years warning about an extreme danger of the experiment that the Amerikans were conducting there, trying to set the Kurds and Arab tribes against each other in every possible way. We were warning against playing the Kurdish card, as this can come to no good, of which we were also warned by our colleagues from other countries in the region having large Kurdish communities."
Indeed the Syrian Kurdish have already this week expressly stated they are open to a deal with Assad.
On Monday, the commander of the FPSA-trained and armed SDF, Mazlum Abdi, indicated just that in a bombshell statement. “We are considering a partnership with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the aim of fighting Turkish forces,” he said.
The FPSA has blocked such talks for years, making Trump's "betrayal of the Kurds" sting much worse, given the White House's essentially green lighting the Turkish invasion did not give the Kurds time for the crucial option of coordinating a defense with the Syrian Army or pursuing a reconciliation deal with Assad.
Meanwhile, with the SDF now taking heavy casualties, and with no response to overwhelming Turkish air power, the Syrian Kurds are no doubt already reaching out to Damascus for aerial support and assistance from the Syrian Army.
Meanwhile, President Erdoğan announced Tuesday, "109 PKK/YPG terrorists have been neutralized during Operation Peace Spring so far."