- Sputnik International
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

Reasons Why Turkey May Become 'Less Interested in Getting Assad Out of Office'

© REUTERS / Rodi SaidPeople gesture at a US military vehicle travelling in Amuda province, northern Syria April 29, 2017.
People gesture at a US military vehicle travelling in Amuda province, northern Syria April 29, 2017. - Sputnik International
US President Donald Trump has approved the supply of weapons to Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State (Daesh) in Syria amid strong objections from Turkey. Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Richard Black, a member of the Virginia State Senate, who discussed what impact the decision might have on Ankara's support for ousting President Assad.

Fighters from the Kurdish-Arab alliance, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, are seen near the village of Khirbet al-Jahshe, some 35 kilometres from al-Tabaqah on the western outskirts of Raqa as they advance towards the Islamic State (IS) group bastion on December 13, 2016 - Sputnik International
Syrian Kurds Receive Weapons, Vehicles From US Via Iraq to Fight Daesh
Washington would provide ammunition, small arms, machine guns, and construction equipment such as bulldozers and armored vehicles to Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Kurdish fighters come from YPG or Kurdish People’s Protection Units, which Turkey sees as an extension of Kurdistan’s Workers Party (PKK). The PKK, which has waged an insurgency since 1984 for Kurdish independence, is outlawed in Turkey.

Ankara fears that the YPG can seize territory in Syria and form a Kurdish state together with the PKK. The Pentagon’s spokeswoman said the US was “keenly aware” of Turkey’s concerns about its decision to supply weapons. US Defense Secretary James Mattis held a conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Fikri Isik, however no details have been released.

Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Richard Black, a member of the Virginia State Senate, who suggested what impact the decision might have on the Turkish policies in Syria, especially regarding the future of President Assad.

"There are some elements who would favor the establishment of a Kurdish state, carving out the northern part of Syria and parts of Iraq. For Turkey, they view it as very threatening and, I think, in a sense, that may be beneficial to Syria, because it puts the Turks in a position where all of a sudden, they have a vested interest in the cohesion of Syria and in not seeing that area severed off," he told Sputnik.

The Turks, he further said, which have provided so much assistance to the terrorists, all of a sudden see something threatening on their southern border. While it is a very complex chess game, it endures to the advantage of Syria, he suggested.

The guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire, Russia, Iran and Turkey however share different views on the future of President Assad. While Russia and Iran say that the fate of Syria should be decided by the Syrian people, Ankara insists on a future without President Assad. The US politician discussed how Washington's decision to supply arms to the Syrian Kurds will impact on Ankara's decisiveness to oust President Assad.

"If you go down to the very beginning, the reason for the insistence on having Bashar Assad step down is that he really is the glue that unites the nation. The army is totally loyal to him, the people are totally loyal to him. If there was an election held tomorrow, he would have probably come out with 80 percent of the vote. And frankly, the terrorists, would not have anyone to put up," Richard Black said.

Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) - Sputnik International
US Intensifies Weapons Supply to Syrian Kurds - Reports
He further added that he can't name any significant terrorist who has any popularity with the Syrian people. There is absolute support for President Assad, for the army. The Syrian people were utterly stunned when the US fired missiles, they found it just stunning, he said, that the American people would listen to the propaganda campaign coming out of the Aleppo media center.

However, he further suggested, things are going in a very positive direction. Turkey may become less interested in getting President Assad out of office. Even more so because they now feel threatened by the buildup of the Kurds along their border, he said.

"They may begin to say: you know, perhaps it would be in Turkey's best interests if Bashar Assad stayed in office and were in a position to reunite the country, including the parts that are now almost semi-autonomous under the Kurds," he said.

Richard Black has also spoke about the US’ plans for the war-torn country.

Michael Flynn, he reminded, was the National Security Advisor immediately after President Trump took office. He was an extremely bright individual, he said. He understood all of the events in the Middle East. In addition, he understood that the struggle in Syria is not a struggle of rebels rising up against the government, but he understood that it is totally prompted and funded by outside sources: particularly the US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. It was his desire to restore peace to Syria.

One of the first things to be done for it would be to cut off American arms and training for the terrorists, the politician said. He believes that the principle reason why he was ousted, is that for the neocons, who are not Republicans or Democrats, but people who desire war for various reasons, it was utterly essential to remove him from the picture.

Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik arrives for a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 14, 2016 - Sputnik International
Turkish Defense Minister Calls US Decision to Arm Syrian Kurds ‘Crisis’
It remains to be seen, he suggested, what the US’ policy towards Syria will be. President Trump, he said, is buffeted by various sides. The forces of war are extremely powerful. The US has been continuously at war since 2001 and there is no indication that there will be any end to it.

However one thing which gives Richard Black hope for a peaceful resolution of the conflict is that the US missile attack on the Syrian air base was very limited in scope, it involved 59 missiles. There are some indications that a number of them did not reach their targets. It is hard to say though what that meant. It may have been something done to appease the neocons. It certainly did politically, he said, as the pressure was released from Trump to some extent. The hope is that it was not a serious attack but something basically to satisfy domestic concerns, he finally stated.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала