i find it difficult to believe syria still sees russia as its ally

On the talks in Ankara
Colonel Cassad, Sep 17 2019

In addition to yesterday’s comments on the topic of Arabia, the meeting in Ankara was naturally devoted to a discussion of the accumulated problems in Syria. The parties emphatically sought to demonstrate a common approach to solving the problems accompanying the completion of the Syrian war, which resulted in a few notable declarations. It was announced that the Constitutional Committee and its staff is already fully negotiated and will soon begin its work. The participants must ensure the start of the process, and it is assumed that the Syrians will feel they have a fairly broad degree of autonomy, although it is quite clear that Russia and Iran on the one hand, and Turkey on the other, will actively keep their fingers on the pulse of the negotiations, because this process will raise decisive issues of influence in post-war Syria.

Against the background of statements of the Russian Foreign Ministry that the war is over, the conference statements contained hints at the continuation of operations against militants beyond the scope of agreements between the participants. If in Sweida, Homs and Deir-ez-Zor the fight against Jihadis may have actually moved to the background, in the East of Latakia and southern Idlib, fighting may develop into full-fledged military operations, assuming of course that the Turks fail to drag Nusra from the front. All hopes are that Golani and Nusra will continue the war, thus creating a convenient excuse for Syria and Russia to develop their offensive deep into Idlib. The discussion of the question of Idlib was very vague and unspecific, as expected: Turkey needs to meet its obligations by freeing the main road through Idlib from Hamah to Aleppo. This is absolutely incomprehensible, given the willingness of the Syrians to do this by military means, developing the offensive in the West and south-west of Aleppo. And the potential offensive to Maarat al-Numan to will not go away. In general, then keep your fingers crossed that Golani will seize the opening.

The parties are all opposed to the Pindo occupation of Syria, and to Pindostan’s attempts to dismember Syria, using the Kurds as expendable pawns. This response of course is not voiced, but it is obvious that Russia is interested in cultivating the contradictions between Turkey and Pindostan over Rozhava. Putin reminded Trump that he promised to withdraw troops from Rozhava, but the operation had been delayed. Turkey of course is not satisfied with the current format of the “joint patrols.” The question of the non-recognition of the occupation of the Golan Heights by Israel climbed to the top of the Declaration. Any significant action in this direction can hardly be expected. The questions of Idlib and Rozhava are much more concern to the conference participants. Overall, the conference was intended to smooth out contradictions and externally, it is with this challenge, unlike last year’s conference in Tehran, clear differences on some issues (especially associated with Idlib) tried not to show in public, leaving for private consultations. Overall, the parties sought to show that their situational alliance in Syria continues to act, and that their shared interests outweigh the objective differences, and in general they succeeded.

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