Erdogan holds the cards to divide Syria and blackmail the US

By Elijah J. Magnier:

The current US administration’s top priority is to win the “European-Russian split” prize, keep Moscow busy in Ukraine, to divide Russia from the European Union, and enlarge NATO by adding two more countries to the existing 30 nations. Surrounding Russia with hostile forces and weakening its army is the US’s primary goal, and Washington is ready to pay a price to achieve it. Moreover, these obvious objectives are offering the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a golden opportunity to put all his demands on the table and blackmail Biden into offering concessions that were difficult to obtain in a normal situation.

For any new country to join NATO, all parliaments of the respective states must first approve. That is due to the ramifications and responsibility of such a decision, particularly the yearly budget allocated to the members and the engagement to defend all NATO members when under threat or attack. Turkey’s accusation of Sweden and Finland hosting Kurdish (on the US-EU list of terrorism groups) PKK leaders is a feeble excuse to block the two European countries from joining NATO, a military organisation led by – the US!. 

Indeed, the US hosted Fethullah Gulen, a former ally turned foe of Erdogan who claimed he was the mastermind behind the 2016 failed coup (he lived in Pennsylvania for 20 years). Moreover, the US arms and finances the Syrian branch of the PKK (PYD/YPG) in northeast Syria. Therefore, Ankara should first demand that Washington cease all collaboration with the PKK if that is really what Erdogan is seeking before he allows Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Thus, ambitiously Turkey seeks concessions to its own list of demands before showing any flexibility.

The first of the Turkish wishes is to relocate and settle one and a half million Syrian refugees (out of around 3.6 million in the country) back to a new Turkish “buffer zone”, an area already occupied by the US army north-east Syria. The settlement of Syrian refugees living in Turkey constitutes an essential barrier between the Turkish forces and their Syrian allies on the one hand and the Kurds of northeastern Syria on the other. It is the first step of Turkish expansion behind Ankara, which Turkey had expressed its desire to establish since 2011 at the beginning of the Syrian war. Even if a new “buffer zone” is not feasible at the moment, re-settling Syrian refugees in the Turkish-controlled city of Idlib and its surroundings constitute a massive step toward annexing part of Syria, watched by the western community.Ankara is aware of being in a solid position to sell its desired strategic goals, especially since the US does not have any new strategy for Syria except to maintain the status quo. The administration of President Joe Biden has kept the situation as it was designed and left behind by former President Donald Trump. Turkey, which considered northern Syria, Idlib and even Aleppo as Turkish provinces, will continue to push hard against the US to force more concessions in Syria and trade these with NATO’s expansionist

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

Proofread by: Maurice Brasher