Russia, Iran and Turkey come together to discuss Syrian crisis

Turkey is all set to host a trilateral Summit of the Russia, Iran and Turkey at Ankara to discuss the de-escalation of Syrian Civil War. This will be a second meeting of the leaders after November 2017 for holding talks on Syria especially as there have been significant developments on the ground.

The talks hold great geopolitical importance as Iran and Russia have been supporting  Syrian regime while Turkey a staunch NATO ally and has been backing the moderate opposition. However, Turkey has been gravely against the armed Kurdish rebels who have been working with the US against its war on ISIL. Despite their divergent loyalties, the trio of nations has been in talks since 2017 to reach a valid conclusion on Syrian warzones. The three agreed to many de-escalation zones. The alignment of their willingness to bring an end to the Syrian crisis has the potential to bring them together. All three have been decisive factors and are against the continuation of US presence in the country. They all favour and stand for the territorial integrity of the nation.

Syrian regime forces have finally seized most of the suburb of Eastern Ghouta. This is a major victory in line with President Assad’s aim of regaining control of the territories which had been seized by the rebels in the last eight years. Turkey had however condemned the offensive of government forces on Eastern Ghouta which had resulted in many civilian deaths including children and unleashed the worst humanitarian crisis since the beginning of civil war. Turkey on its part has gained complete control of the northern city of Afrin which was under Kurdish YPG group. Latter has been regarded by Turkey as allies of the banned PKK organization responsible for carrying attacks against Turkey since last 30 years. PKK is also active in Iran but has a limited presence on Iranian soil. Thus Iran is also against the YPG and is against a strong YPG presence in Syria. YPG has been working under the umbrella organization of SDF or Syrian Democratic Front alongside the US against ISIL. US has both trained and armed YPG.

Turkey began its offensive Operation Olive Branch against YPG in January. In the final arm of its offensive, Russia had opened its airspace to Turkey by removing its observers from Afrin.  Turkish government wants to extend the operation to Manbij where US forces are stationed along YPG.

Russia has also aligned its interests towards Turkey over YPG. Both Turkey and Russia are building up bilateral relation as Russia has inaugurated the construction of the first Nuclear Power Plant in Turkey, in addition, to purchase of S-400 missiles from Russia. Latter has raised concerns among NATO nations about the change in strategic intent of Ankara and its compatibility with the alliance. Russian President Putin has also stated in a press conference in Ankara that Russia will shorten the delivery time of the missiles.


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