The countries that met in Astana and introduced themselves as the guarantors of the meeting of Sochi entered a violent war today in southern Idlib, the Turkish state, which aims to not reach a solution to the Syrian crisis demanded Russia and Iran to abide by their positions and decisions. At the same time, Russia declared that the attack on its base in Tartous was from areas controlled by the Turkish state. Both sides are accusing each other. These statements reveal the truth of the play which they are playing in the name of Astana and more recently as Sochi.
The rapprochement between Russia, Turkey and Iran, held by a series of meetings in the name of Astana, was in doubt for anyone who closely follows the Syrian situation. This did not come out of the blue, because these countries are fighting each other from the beginning in Syria. What happened to meet with each other?
Many of the parties had goals from the meetings held by Russia, Turkey and Iran in Astana. Each country wanted to achieve its own interests and policies at those meetings. One of the objectives of the rapprochement between these countries is the establishment of tension reduction areas in the areas of Aleppo and the areas around Idlib, and the removal of some groups that were besieged by the Syrian regime from those areas and grouped in one area. This goal was clear for the three countries gathered in Astana. Turkey saw this as an opportunity to intervene in Syria’s policy. In order for Russia to expand its activities in other areas, this step was considered an opportunity moment, especially when Syria’s Democratic Forces and the international coalition advanced towards the capital of terrorism, IS mercenaries and liberating new areas day after day. In order to block this advance and create its presence in Rojava and the southern Euphrates, Russia needed such calm in Aleppo and Idlib. Iran, whose primary objective is to open a corridor to the Mediterranean Sea before Syria’s Democratic Forces control this corridor, has been of the view that setting up tension-reduction areas is beneficial. The Turkish occupation state took advantage of the agreement between Iran and Russia to intervene to a certain extent in Syrian politics and occupied an area of 2500 square kilometers. This area, which includes Jarablus and al-Bab was used by the Turkish state to pose a danger to Syria’s Democratic Forces and Kurds.
This policy, planned in Astana, is practiced on a daily basis by threats to Afrin and Manbij. It is clear that the Syrian issue does not concern the Turkish state and it uses its mercenaries and gangs to achieve its own interests only. Its policy focuses on only one thing antagonizing who demands the democracy. Russia is trying to gain time from Astana as well as from Sochi. The relationship between Russia and Turkey is based on utility.
Therefore, Russia is trying to remove groups that are an obstacle to achieving its goals from Astana and invest the silence of the Turkish groups to their advantage and succeeded in this. In the meantime, Russia established a line on the Euphrates River extending up to the Iraqi border and placed the city of Deir ez-Zor with the support of Iran under its control. If these countries were not participating in the Astana meeting and there were no areas of De-Escalation in Idlib and Aleppo, the Syrian regime, even with the support of Russia and Iran, could not advance south of the Euphrates
Iran always controls its wars outside its lands, and did the same in dealing with the Syrian issue. Providing a solid ground through which to participate in the war in Syria. Iran controls a wide corridor linking Tehran with the Mediterranean Sea. The project was completed through its participation in the play “Astana” and more recently “Sochi”. It is clear that Iran has no intention of resolving the crisis through these meetings. On the contrary, Iran sees a solution in eliminating its enemies. Its main enemy now is the groups related to Turkey. To eliminate these groups, Iran is draining all its strength in fighting those groups in Idlib.
Militarily, the Syrian regime and its allies, Russia and Iran, are attempting to open a corridor extending from the north of Hama to the south of Aleppo and the return of a large area of land from the grip of the groups of the Turkish occupation through it. If this is done, it will go to Idlib center. This is how the strategy of Russia and Iran is clear. If this strategy is directly impeded, the play of Astana and Sochi will continue.
The strategy of Russia and Iran in Syria focuses on the elimination of Turkey’s mercenaries, which call itself opposition. These countries gave Turkey a role through Astana, and dragged Turkey into Idlib with this goal using it to eliminate some groups such as the Fatah al-Sham (al-Qaeda’s affiliate). Turkey wanted to enter Idlib to increase its influence on its affiliated groups and increase its risk to Afrin. The policy of Russia and Iran over Turkey has not worked. On the contrary, collected them under the name of al-Milli Army. These groups issued that their goal is Syria’s Democratic Forces and the Syrian regime’s forces.
The loss of the Turkish state for its role in Syrian politics will bring a good chance for Kurds and their friends. And will bring an opportunity to end the Turkish presence not only in Idlib but in al-Bab, Azaz as well. Syrian Democratic Forces must take advantage of this political play. On the one hand, they must realize the goal of political plays and, on the other hand, prepare well for those areas.