Middle East: Towards a triumph of the “divide and rule” Chaos Strategy?

Putin & Erdogan to ‘intensify contacts’ over Syria, but no sign of peace in Idlib yet

21 Feb, 2020
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan talked Syria over the phone, as their troops squared off in Idlib province. The topics of Syrian sovereignty and terrorist threat loomed large.
Putin expressed “serious concern about the ongoing aggressive actions of extremist groups,” and emphasized the need for “unconditional respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Syria, the Kremlin readout of Friday’s phone conversation said. Moscow and Ankara agreed to “intensify bilateral interagency consultations on Idlib,” along with intensive military contacts.
Read more at https://www.rt.com/news/481430-putin-erdogan-phone-syria/

Turkish, Russian leaders talk developments in Idlib, Syria

February 22, 2020
In a phone conversation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart spoke on Friday about the latest developments in embattled Idlib, northwestern Syria.
Erdoğan told Vladimir Putin that the Assad regime must show restraint and the humanitarian crisis must end in Idlib, northwestern Syria, where around a million civilians have fled attacks by the regime and its allies to take shelter near the Turkish border.
He went on to say that resolving the crisis unfolding in Idlib hinges on full implementation of the 2018 Sochi deal.
Read more at https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkish-russian-leaders-talk-developments-in-idlib-syria-3512560

As Syria’s War Escalates, Growing Risks of Regional Turmoil

21 Feb, 2020
This week of fighting in northeastern Syria saw a disturbing escalation, with Turkey bringing itself more directly into the war, and several other foreign powers at risk of being dragged in as well.
Turkey’s commitment to prevent Syria from winning the war has threatened to turn this into a border war, and there are a lot of regional interests that could be involved. Russia has warned Turkey away and almost certainly is going to limit how far Turkey can go before they directly intervene to stop them.
Read more at https://news.antiwar.com/2020/02/21/as-syrias-war-escalates-growing-risks-of-regional-turmoil/

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Fighting mounts as Washington backs Turkish attack on Syria, Russia

By Alex Lantier
21 February 2020
The danger of all-out war in the Middle East and beyond continued to escalate out of control yesterday as bloody fighting erupted between Turkish, Syrian and Russian troops in northern Syria.
Turkish artillery units in northern Syria’s Idlib province backed a coordinated offensive by Islamist opposition militias targeting Syrian government troops near Qminas and Nayrab. They initially broke through the government lines, causing heavy losses. During the fighting, the Turkish Defense Ministry reported on Twitter that 50 Syrian “regime elements” were destroyed, along with five tanks, two armored personnel carriers, two pickup trucks and a howitzer.
Read more at https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/02/21/turk-f21.html

US warns YPG: no protection if you fight Turkey

18 February 2020
As they chose to stand by Turkey concerning the Ankara-Moscow tensions due to Idlib, US official sources said that they have warned their Syria partner the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria that they would get no American protection if they enter into any conflict with Turkey.
According to US sources who spoke to YetkinReport on condition of anonymity, the YPG people in Syria were told that the support of the American forces did not apply to any conflict with Turkey, that they would be deprived of any protection if they get into any clash with the Turkish troops. A senior official stressed that YPG forces were “clearly and repeatedly” told that the US would not choose them over Turkey in case of a conflict.
Read more at https://yetkinreport.com/en/2020/02/18/us-warns-ypg-no-protection-if-you-fight-turkey/

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As Turkish pendulum swings from Russia to U.S. in Syria

16 February 2020
The photo above was taken at one of the meeting rooms of the Bayerische Hof hotel on Feb 15, in the premises of the Munich Security Conference. This photo alone can be an example to show how Turkey’s Syrian policy pendulum is starting to lean more towards the U.S. than Russia.
The snap is from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s meeting with a group of U.S. senators. They have their backs to the camera but the person sitting right across Çavuşoğlu is Lindsay Graham: the Republican senator who has, at times, carried out Track Two diplomacy between U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan at times of crisis. The committees were discussing the dangerous tensions in Syria, Libya and the sanctions that Congress is planning to implement on Turkey for S-400 missile purchase from Russia.
Read more at https://yetkinreport.com/en/2020/02/16/as-turkish-pendulum-swings-from-russia-to-u-s-in-syria/