Determining position

43 few days ago, some Russian news agencies reported that the text of the appeal was dropped from planes in the al-Bab region of Syria and the population was demanded to leave the region.

Some reports from the region claimed that al-Bab was bombed by Russian planes, followed by reports that 3 people were killed and 10 were wounded in terrorist attacks organized in some parts of the Jarablus region.

It should be noted that Jarablus was taken under control after the Turkish army’s Operation Euphrates Shield organized by the Turkish army in the northwestern region of Syria on August 24, 2016, and terrorist groups were removed and the Turkish dominance was established.

At that time, although the army, which was advancing towards al-Bab, took control of a part of the city, it could not do it completely because Russian tanks were suddenly brought there and placed on the other side of the street. With Operation Olive Branch, which took place in January-March 2018, after the complete control of the 911-kilometer border of Syria, the eyes turned to Idlib region. While Russia has called for the cleansing of radical Islamist groups (mostly Chechens, Uighurs, and Central Asians), Turkey has been reluctant to expel them, describing them as “soft opposition”, until the assassination of 57 Turkish servicemen (34 officially) on February 27, 2020. Later, at the insistence of Turkey, a ceasefire was declared and the patrol services of the two countries decided to work together but, in fact, Russian-Turkish cooperation in Syria ended de facto, and the competition shifted to the northern regions of Libya.

Although Russia remained silent in the face of Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan’s operations to liberate its lands from Armenian occupation in the autumn, it was clear at that time that it did not want Turkey to become stronger in the South Caucasus, and official statements at various levels have made this clear over the days (let Azerbaijan’s glorious politicians continue to interpret this as “Putin’s fear of Erdoğan”).

Hence, one of the reasons for the recent events in Syria in the Turkish-controlled regions is the attempt to be strengthened in the South Caucasus and the Turkish-Azerbaijani rapprochement.

The official statements from Russia are an expression of Moscow’s intention to take Yerevan completely under the pretext of this rapprochement and an attempt to prevent Turkey from stepping on the ground in the South Caucasus. One of the practical manifestations of this attempt is being carried out in Syria, and on the first anniversary of the Idlib tragedy, there are reports that Turkish-controlled areas have been bombed and terrorist attacks have taken place there. In this way, Moscow wants to draw Ankara’s attention by sending a message “Do not forget that you are in Syria with my permission.”

To what extent will Turkey’s attention be diverted from the South Caucasus and, of course, mainly from Azerbaijan with these messages? The situation will largely depend on the level of tension in the Ankara-Moscow conflict in Syria. Another reason for the bombings and terrorist attacks targeting Turkey’s presence in Syria is the US-Turkish tensions over the past three months over S-400 missiles. Such that Washington, which does not even want to listen to Ankara’s proposal to “they will stay underground when not in use,” has brought the issue to the point where “you will not even mention the names of S-400 missiles.”

The reassurance of the White House at a time when President Erdoğan was saying “my friend Donald” no longer exists, and the State Department is not only contributing to the congressional and senate attack choir but sometimes even surpassing them. Sometimes President Erdoğan declares that he will “never give up S-400 missiles,” Russian arms industry officials have spoken out on the sale of missiles between the two countries, and it seems impossible for Turkey to give up those missiles. On the other hand, the situation is complicated by the threat of US sanctions. Therefore, al-Bab is bombed in order to oppress Turkey in Syria and similar incidents occur in other regions. Both to divert Turkey’s attention from the South Caucasus, especially Azerbaijan, and to prevent Ankara from stepping back in the face of growing pressure from Washington.

We came back to the fold: The position of Baku will be largely determining position.

Mayis Alizade


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