Speaking to the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Reza Hojjat Shamami, referring to the agreement between Turkey and Russia on the situation in northern Syria, said: “Russia should enter into negotiations with two friendly countries that are enemies of each other. They have friendly relations with Russia and are in dire need of it, either voluntarily or by coercion. Syria was troubled by the fact that Turkey had entered its soil under any pretext, and Turkey was concerned that what it called terrorist groups were approaching its borders and threatening its security. It is only natural that both the countries need Russia and that both of them are considering Moscow’s solutions.
The regional affairs analyst, citing one of the clauses of the agreement that Russian military police and Syrian border guards enter the Syrian border, said: “Syria has convinced Russia that Turkey should leave its territory and the Kurds because of their current need accepted the deal. Because the Kurds believe the US betrayed them and left them alone with the Syrian Army and Turkey, and because of the depth of their leftist and socialist line of thinking and historical proximity to Russia, they helped finalize the deal, so the Kurds also accepted what Russia and Putin told them to do to ease the tension.”
“It is natural now, given the US action against the Kurds, that the Kurds cannot fight independently against the coalition that was able to destroy ISIS and control the big regional crisis,” he said. The Kurds now have to turn to Syria and seek refuge in the Damascus government. So from this aspect the agreement was in the interest of the Syrian government.
Hojjat Shamami said that all three sides, Syria, Turkey and the Kurds could somehow sit around the table arranged by Russia: Turkey seeks no terrorist attack on its borders, while it is for Erdogan’s domestic consumption as well. Syria also wants to maintain its territorial integrity and return centrifugal forces to Damascus. Russia, like Iran, insists on preserving Syria’s territorial integrity to reduce tensions.
At the same time, he emphasized that border threats are not an excuse for military incursions and the annexation of part of a threatened country. He continued: This happens in other countries as well and it is not confined to Turkey and the Syrian Kurds. If a spectrum takes an action, should the whole ethnic community and population be erased and destroyed? Is it possible to eliminate all Pashtuns in Afghanistan in an attempt to eliminate the Taliban? This is an irrational outlook. This is why it is believed Turkey has launched the operation for domestic consumption.
“It was clear that the world and public opinion opposed Turkey’s action, both socially and politically, and that the country should have stopped these actions at some point,” the analyst said.
On some analyses that the agreement was more in favor of Russia and Syria than any other party, he said: “In the new world order we are in transition, any country that can have military and security influence and manage the world efficiently will have a good place in the future. In this crisis, Russia has emerged as an international solution provider.”
He explained that Syria has the upper hand in this event, because while maintaining its territorial integrity, it has brought the Kurds closer. It is also in the Kurds’ interest, because they are now finding safety and security. After ISIS failed in the region, there was a perception that the United States was seeking to partition Syria through armed Kurdish fighters. This may worry Turkey, as more than 25% of the territory is Kurdish and this was a regional threat that the US pursued and withdrew for whatever reason.
Hojjat Shamami said: The Kurds have come to the conclusion that they cannot only rely on the United States, but it is better to depend on the central government so that their social fabric is not destroyed. One should not forget that the Ottoman past had the experience of removing the great Adana region from the entire Armenian biological fabric. On the other hand, this agreement is also in Ankara’s favor, as Turkey has secured its border. Certainly, reducing the crisis in the region will benefit the whole region.
Referring to Clause Five of the agreement that Russian military police and Syrian border guards will enter the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border, to facilitate the removal of Kurdish elements and their weapons to the depth of 30km (19 miles) from the Turkish-Syrian border, at that moment, joint Russian-Turkish patrols will start in the west and the east of the area of Operation Peace Spring with a depth of 10km (six miles), except Qamishli city, he explained that Turkey initially wanted to go deeper into Syrian soil, and said: It was a big stone that could not be thrown because the social fabric and the public opinion of the region and the world and its allies in the West and the East did not endorse it.
On the other hand, militarily, a regular army can never defeat irregular operations, the analyst said. Why the Taliban won’t be defeated? Why America could not defeat Vietnam? There are various reasons, of course, but there is also the fact that a well-trained regular army cannot simply fight and conquer a spectrum of irregular fighters and always living in the mountains unless it kills children and men and women enough to make the world scream. Turkey has not yet accepted the debate on Armenian genocide. If another genocide is attributed to Turkey, it would have grave implications so Turkey showed a big rock, but was convinced to hit a small target!
Hojjat Shamami also said striking an agreement to reduce the crisis was predictable. “It had to happen and the deep tension that had been created had to be resolved in some way.” In the events that occurred in Libya, one important issue was bypassing Russia by NATO which troubled Moscow. The crisis has been deepening since 2011, but at the same time we have been witnessing developments that included deep global crises and ISIS. Following these issues, two coalitions were formed, one led by the US and the West and the other by regional countries such as Iran and the Resistance. Of course, Iran was able to persuade Russia to join this process, and then we saw China’s political backing in the UN Security Council.
Commenting on the future prospects of the deal between Russia and Turkey on northern Syria and the continuation of peace, he said the region seems to be moving toward less tensions, as there is a similar desire between warring Yemen and Saudi Arabia. “If Russia can persuade armed Kurdish fighters to keep away from Turkish borders, which is very difficult to do, the easing of the tension will continue.”
He continued: It turned out that the second coalition was able to counter ISIS and in the next steps move the decision-making structure of international crises from Geneva to the East and bring it to Astana, Sochi, Turkey and Iran. Later, in various parts of Syria, the issue of tension was gradually reduced and this country, along with its allies, especially Iran and the Resistance, managed the crisis in such a great way that everyone acknowledged that Syria had come out of that deep crisis and now there are talks about inviting Syria back to the Arab League and other organizations.
At the same time, he said that there are various analyzes of how the US has retreated from the spectrum of Kurdish separatists, saying that the United States is looking to East Asia and does not seem to need to rely on a small range that cannot do much.
Hojjat Shamami said that from the beginning the issue seemed to be controllable, adding that perhaps Turkey was seeking to have more influence in Syria. On the other hand, in view of the defeat Mr. Erdogan suffered in the Istanbul mayoral election which is among important elections in Turkey, he was worried that the consensus he was seeking would not form inside Turkey and he would face problems in the next polls. He sought to forge a consensus within the country and create a warlike story that showed that he stood against terrorism.