In Syria, Washington acts in concert with Ankara

By Abdullah Sajad

No matter how harsh anti-American rhetoric was which the Turkish politicians sometimes used, Ankara always implicitly obeyed Washington's orders.

 Even when relations seem bending toward a breaking point, the Ottomans always turn to look at their older brother, each time emphasizing that they remain America's most loyal and strong NATO ally.

 They recently threatened to expel from Ankara 10 European ambassadors and the American one. So what's the point?

Turkish President  Recep Erdogan decided to expand the zone of control in northern Syria, while edging out American-allied Kurds and narrowing the territory of Russian and Syrian influence.

 He tried to negotiate this with Russian President Vladimir Putin and seems to have not heeded his suggestions.

In response, he received a real threat of an armed clash between his satellites and a powerful group of Russian and Syrian government forces in the north of Aleppo Governorate involving pro-Iranian militias.

The Pentagon demonstrated its readiness to defend its Kurdish ally, with a peremptory shout coming from Washington to Ankara, after which the Ottomans got cold feet.

Now they seem to have already forgotten what they wanted... They were apparently told to negotiate with the Russians the handover of the Syrian Kurds in Aleppo and Al-Hasakah in exchange for radicals and terrorists in Idlib, while the Americans steer clear to make the blame for another beating of the Kurds fall on Russia and Syria.

Some foreign and Russian political analysts assumed deeper controversies between Turkey and the United States amid their shamelessly brazen interference in Syria's internal affairs.

This was an initially erroneous belief, since the policies and practice of Ankara and Washington's actions are based on visceral hatred of Bashar al-Assad's regime and wish to destroy the Syrian statehood.

 Recep Erdogan and the three recent US administrations, regardless of their party affiliation, make no secret of this. At the same time, both Brother Jonathan and the Ottomans shout from the housetops about their willingness to eliminate terrorist groups in Syria and establish democracy while preserving the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

What kind of sovereignty and territorial integrity can we speak of when the Americans and Turks stay in Syria regardless of all the international laws and with no permission from its national government?

Not only do they actually occupy a significant part of the Syrian territory, they also shamelessly plunder natural resources: Turkey got its grubby hands on water resources, and the United States took possession of oil and natural gas.

The Turks wholeheartedly supported the anti-Syrian sanctions of the Caesar Act imposed by President Trump, hold sway over the Istanbul-based Riyadh radical wing of the Syrian opposition, preventing its rapprochement with the moderate one to reach an agreement on constitutional reforms. Such a situation is in the best US interests.

As for terrorists, an incongruity has evolved: the Turks are seeking to destroy the military power and infrastructure of the American ally in the US "struggle" against ISIL .

 At the same time, open information sources have never reported armed attacks by ISIL militants on Turks or Americans in Syria over the last five or six years. Quite the opposite, there is sufficient information about terrorist cooperation with the Ottomans and Brother Jonathan.

Trump denied the Turks the sale of American fifth-generation heavy fighters over Erdogan's alleged disobedience and acquisition of Russia's S-400 air defense system. The question is whether the Turks need such expensive and difficult-to-operate aircraft and would Turkey be able to pay for the deal? Maybe it's better to buy Russian weapons and air defense equipment on loan and study their "stuffing" along with American partners? You can also "grab a bit of partner money off" for the service rendered...

Both NATO allies push for the expansion of humanitarian assistance to the Syrians. To whom and where? As it turns out, to the Syrian Kurds and illegal armed groups controlled by the Americans and Turks, respectively. The distribution of international supplies by the Syrian government is out of question. The same Americans block such decisions at the UN.

As a goodwill gesture, Brother Jonathan recently handed over a batch of wheat to the peasants in northern Syria. The grain came from Turkey and was 40% infected with parasites that imperil the whole region's agriculture where the sowing campaign was planned. The delivery to Qamishli was carried out by the US Agency for International Development (USAID, banned in Russia).

How deeply loathed must Syria and its people be that one attempts such a cynical sabotage under the pretext of humanitarian aid?

It wasn't as though the Ottomans were unaware of the kind of product they were passing on to the Syrians..