Russia and Turkey would resort to diplomatic ways on Idlib issue - Turkish Expert-Exclusive | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

4 July, Saturday


Russia and Turkey would resort to diplomatic ways on Idlib issue - Turkish Expert-Exclusive

I don’t think that NATO would take an action together with Turkey in Syria. Because, according to the 5th article of NATO Treaty, an attack must be taken on the soil of a NATO membership. However, this attack to Turkey was taken on the Syrian soil.

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On Thursday 27 February, Russian-backed Assad forces launched fierce airstrikes in Idlib in northern-west Syria led to the martyring of Turkish soldiers. Airstrike made Turkey to take strict measures as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called emergency security meeting.  By the way, Turkish forces have paid strong attack to Assad forces in retaliation to its airstrikes martyred 33 Turkish soldiers. Dozens of military facilities and positions of Syrian army have been destroyed and over 300 Syrian soldiers have been killed.

However, there is a serious problem that arming clashes of Turkish troops with Assad forces would lead to the escalation of tension between Moscow and Ankara. In the meantime, two Russian warships have already passed through Bosporus into Mediterranean, and moving towards the ports of Syria.  Furthermore, some experts still to discuss one important question that Russia and Iran could be behind the airstrike in Syria.

On the occasion of the aggravation of situation between Ankara and Moscow in Syria, Eurasia Diary took interview from Ümit Nazmi Hazır, Turkish analyst on Eurasian Studies. Ümit Nazmi is Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. He hold bachelor and master degrees in International Relations from Ege and Hacettepe Universities in Turkey. He was a lecturer at the Russian-Turkish Center for Educational and Research of RGGU in Moscow in 2014- 2015. He focus on Eurasian politics in terms of IR theories.

- As a result of airstrike attack by Assad regime, 33 Turkish soldiers were martyred and tens of others injured in Idlib. Do you think that this get Russia and Hezbollah of Iran who are closed allies? 

It is likely that Iranian forces also played a role in the attacks of the Assad regime to Turkish troops. Iranian militia forces are very effective within the troops of the Assad regime. For another thing, Iran aims to create a problem between Turkey and Russia. Especially, after the dead of Qasem Soleimani, there has been a decline in the influence of Iran over Syria. Hence, Iran has become more eager to take advantage from any crisis between Turkey and Russia. What’s more, I would like to remind that there has been a rising black propaganda against Turkey in Iranian media, since the Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring (Barış Pınarı) in northern Syria in October.

- Russian President has recently cancelled meeting with Erdogan which was planned on March 5, and Russian missiles moved towards the Syrian border.  Does this mean it accelerates the war Turkey and Russia amid the escalation of tensions?          

The meeting cancellation of President Putin deepened the problem and pushed Turkey to use more military force. Both sides tested each other and none of them took steps backward. However, there would no acceleration in the escalation of tension for a short time. Russia would resort to diplomatic ways. But, today two Russian warships passed through Bosporus amid high tensions in order to arrive in Mediterranean. This indicates that there could be rising competition and risks between Turkey and Russia in Mediterranean and Libya alongside in Syria. Besides, Russia would be able to approach towards PYD in Syria.

- NATO Atlantic Council will meet on Friday following request by Turkey to hold consultation under 4th article NATO treaty on the situation in Syria? From your viewpoint, will NATO keep supporting to Turkey until conflict being resolved?

After the airstrike, NATO directly expressed its support for Turkey and condemned Russia and the Assad regime. Besides, NATO called Russia, Iran and Assad to respect international law as well as to cease attacks. In recent years, there has been a deterioration of Turkey and NATO relations. Turkey’s attempt to buy S-400 missile system from Russia was sharply criticized by NATO and USA. Turkey also criticized some NATO members due to supporting YPG terrorists, which is a big threat for Turkey. However, after this airstrike, Turkey and NATO would enhance their relations and cooperation. Nevertheless, I don’t think that NATO would take an action together with Turkey in Syria. Because, according to the 5th article of NATO Treaty, an attack must be taken on the soil of a NATO membership. However, this attack to Turkey was taken on the Syrian soil.

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